ECONOMY

Economic sentiment down in Greece and in Europe

BRUSSELS – The decline in the confidence of businesspeople and consumers in the course of the economy continued in January. The economic sentiment indicator (ESI) reached a new historic low both in Greece and the European Union. In Greece it fell to 55.4 points from 58.2 in December 2008, with all its components moving downward, particularly in the services sector. There was also a significant decline in construction, retailing and manufacturing. In the eurozone, the index dropped to 68.9 points this month from 70.4 in December. In the EU as a whole, the ESI dropped to 64.9 points from 68.2 in December 2008.