ECONOMY

Exports, sentiment show economy’s resilience

exports-sentiment-show-economy-amp-8217-s-resilience

The Greek economy continued to display resilience amid the lockdown, with exports on the rise in November and economic sentiment showing signs of improvement in December.

Despite the problems with the global economy, Greek products continued to find their way to markets abroad, so, excluding fuel, exports in the first 11 months of last year headed higher on an annual basis.

According to the provisional figures compiled by the Hellenic Statistical Authority, exports (excluding oil products) rose 3.8% from November 2019 to 2.08 billion euros. When one adds fuel, demand for which has posted a major decline internationally, the total value of Greek exports has dropped 4.2% to €2.62 billion.

In the January-November period Greek exports fell 10.5% when fuel is included, as without it there was a 2.2% annual rise to €21.8 billion, while the balance of trade fell 19.3% to €16.4 billion.

The economic sentiment index of the Foundation for Economic and Industry Research (IOBE) improved last month to 91.5 points, from 91 points in November.

The IOBE report argued that the course of the index is the outcome of improved expectations in industry, a sector that did not have to stop operating and which is more closely associated with the international environment, which was slow to deteriorate in late 2020. There was also a small improvement in consumer confidence, for the first time after five consecutive months of deterioration.

IOBE argues that the extension of the restrictions into the holiday period had to a great extent been factored into the November findings, when the sentiment index had declined significantly. The partial reopening of some stores and in many cases the introduction of a new way of shopping at stores, through the click-and-collect system, helped the market recover somewhat.

However, in the broader business domain the pessimism continues, as companies have to adjust their operations depending on developments in the health crisis, while there is still no sign of when it might end.