ECONOMY

Checks bounced ever higher in July

The number of bouncing checks recorded by the country’s banking system shot up by an annual rate of more than 30 percent in July, indicating a severe downturn in conditions among traders. Data provided by the Teiresias banking system showed that 10,361 checks bounced in July, representing a total amount of 105.1 million euros, up 35.57 percent from the same period a year earlier. The increase is among the highest seen in recent months and indicates a squeeze in liquidity among traders – wholesalers and retailers – that often use checks. The number of bad checks has been steadily rising for the last four months, according to the bank data provided. For the seven months ending in July, 57,896 checks were not honored, representing some 616.37 million euros. The worsening figures come at a time when the country’s economic growth is showing signs of running out of steam. Second-quarter data showed that annual growth of gross domestic product (GDP) slowed to 3.4 percent from 3.6 percent previously. A stronger euro and higher interest rates have started to bite into consumption rates of the Greek economy, which has been one of the strongest growing in the eurozone in recent years.