OPINION

Beyond official statistics

When the Manos travel agency collapsed just before Christmas we pointed out that it had long been on the verge of bankruptcy and that a similar situation existed in a number of sectors of economic life. Just a few days ago the Connection company found itself in just this position and was only saved at the last minute by the banks and the mobilization of shareholders, who agreed to become strategic partners. Reports from the banking market confirm that many businesses are teetering on the edge, burdened by heavy loans and the tendency toward recessionary conditions due to a loss of capital income, which once created an illusion of euphoria and general prosperity. It is now clear that both society and the economy are assimilating the effects of the stock market collapse and the near disappearance of income from interest rates, which for many years provided a solution for large sectors of society. Just a glance at individual sectors is enough to confirm the problems in the real economy. Everywhere from the textile, clothing and furniture industries to household goods and manufacturing companies, there are difficulties linked to over-indebtedness and reduced competitiveness, which is diametrically opposed to the official statistics indicating progress and growth as an indicator of economic health. Unfortunately, reality is quite different, as those who are a part of the real economy know full well. It is real life that is the true indicator, long before statistics. Having said that, the fact that the government hides behind figures is a real problem and will perhaps be a source of greater ills. At this stage it is important to diagnose the country’s economic state beyond the image given by the official numbers and to adapt economic policy by implementing a program of reconstruction and protection against what is to come.