ECONOMY

In Brief

November PPI inflation at -0.6 percent year-on-year Greek producer price inflation fell sharply to -0.6 percent year-on-year in November from +4.8 percent in October, pushed lower by sinking oil prices, data from the National Statistics Service (NSS) showed yesterday. The latest reading brought the 12-month average annual pace of producer price inflation down to +8.8 percent. Consumer inflation in November fell by a full percentage point to 2.9 percent. The NSS said the sub-index of energy prices dropped 8.8 percent month-on-month in November. «The downtrend of the PPI index is expected to continue due to the drop in oil prices and other primary inputs,» said Dimitris Maroulis, economist at Alpha Bank. «The large drop over the past few months is mainly the result of extremely high oil prices in the middle of the year, which subsequently fell due to the economic downturn.» (Reuters) British tourists planning to snub mainland Europe LONDON (AFP) – Britons are planning to take cheaper and shorter holidays in 2009 due to the economic downturn and the collapsing value of sterling, a poll showed yesterday. But the overall number of holidays will increase, even if people either stay at home or choose destinations where the pound goes further, notably shunning mainland Europe. «The type of holidays people will take and the destinations they will visit over the coming year are changing quite dramatically,» said Bob Atkinson of travelsupermarket.com, which carried out the poll. He said short-haul European breaks and ski travel would be the main victims. As the recession deepens, some 18 percent of the 2,037 people surveyed said they plan cheaper holidays in 2009, while 11 percent will only take one short break. However the average number of holidays, even if short, is expected to grow from 1.5 percent in 2008 to 1.8 in 2009, said the survey. The collapse of sterling – which is nearing one-to-one parity with the euro – is fueling interest in holidays at home or outside the eurozone. «For example… destinations outside the eurozone are seeing huge growth,» Atkinson said, citing Turkey, Bulgaria, Egypt and other North African countries. Retail sales Greece’s retail sales by volume halted a three-month slide in October, rising 0.4 percent year-on-year, data from the National Statistics Service showed yesterday. Retail sales by revenue rose 3.7 percent year-on-year in October after a 1.3 percent rise in the previous month. (Reuters) Gas prices Turkey’s state-run pipeline company Botas is ready to cut the cost of natural gas by 15 percent, spokesman Huseyin Sagir said yesterday. A proposal for the reduction at the start of January has been sent to the government, which will make the final decision, Sagir said in a telephone interview. (Bloomberg) Rate cuts Turkey’s central bank said it cut the benchmark interest rate this month by the most in four years after slowing inflation gave it more room for reductions to the cost of borrowing. Still, «global uncertainty» means the bank needs to retain «flexibility in terms of future rates decisions,» the bank said. (Bloomberg)