ECONOMY

Economic sentiment still on the slide

Greek economic sentiment hit a record low in December, in line with 17 other European Union countries, on spreading pessimism, with expected price stability offering the only bright spot, according to a report released yesterday. The report, put together by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), said economic sentiment in December fell to 54.3 units, from 66.7 in the previous month, retreating for the tenth straight month. «Business expectations in all areas of the economy are limited, while consumer confidence appears to be stabilizing at very low levels,» the report said. «The only positive point is the maintaining of mild expectations regarding price levels in coming months as most sectors anticipate price stability.» Among the European Union’s 27 member states, the index fell to 63.5 units from 70.5 in November. Countries such as Spain, Germany and Italy also saw business sentiment fall to record lows. Negative forecasts in Greece’s industrial sector also include an expected drop in production levels for the first time in three years, said IOBE. Respondents in the services sector believe there will be a drop in business as current demand levels have already eased, IOBE added.