ECONOMY

April economic sentiment rebounds

Greek economic sentiment rebounded in April after a 12-month slide, helped by stronger consumer confidence and slightly improved projections in the retail trade and construction sectors. The Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said yesterday its economic climate index inched up to 46.4 points from 43.1 in March. The institute said Greek consumers were still among the eurozone’s most pessimistic according to its research, after Hungary, Lithuania and Portugal. «Although the sentiment index remains at exceptionally low levels, the improvement in April is an important development, which may be pointing to a bottoming of the downtrend,» IOBE said in a statement. The economic sentiment benchmarks for the 27 European Union member states and the eurozone rose in April to 63.9 from 60.4 points and to 67.2 from 64.7 points in March respectively, IOBE said. Separately, Economy and Finance Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said yesterday that there are some positive signs of stability later this year leading to a recovery in 2010. Still, the situation remains «grim,» Papathanassiou said, according to comments made in Brussels.