Economic sentiment hits 2008 high in July, IOBE confirms


Greece's economic sentiment index shot up to 105.3 points in July from 101 the month before, to reach a high unseen since March 2008, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said in its latest monthly Business and Consumer Survey, confirming a report from Eurostat on Tuesday.

Sentiment improved across the board in every sector of business – industry, retail, services and construction – while consumer confidence also climbed to a near-12-year high, IOBE reported on Thursday, pointing to the general elections of July 7 that brought a pro-business government to power as contributing to the upbeat mood.

Optimism was most evident among consumers, IOBE said, as they look forward to an improvement in their personal and household finances, with businesses holding a more guarded view for the time being.

In the sector of industry, forecasts for orders and demand grew slightly in July compared with the month before that, though inventory and future orders did not score as well. Overall, the confidence index stood at 104.4 points in July, which is a slight improvement from June's 104.2 points, but a drop from 105.9 points in July 2018.

With 58 points last month from June's 54.6 and July 2018's 56.9, construction was particularly optimistic, seeing the government's program boosting orders and employment, while services are also in upbeat mood rising to 108 points from 99.7 in July 2018 and 98.1 last month as the sector sees demand improve in the coming months.

The retail sector seemed pleased with its present performance, though it is not as optimistic for the future, according to IOBE, which gave it a score of 104.9 in July, down from 105.8 in the same month last year, but up from June's 103.2 points.

Consumers are all smiles, meanwhile, as they foresee an improvement in their finances and employment prospects, as well as the opportunity to increase their savings, the report found. The negative index rose to -20.2 in July from -27.8 points in June and from a bleak score of -46.5 points in July 2018.