Greek SMEs suffered significant drop in sales

28 January 2016
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Greek small- and medium-sized enterprises suffered a significant drop in sales in the third quarter of 2015, due to the imposition of capital controls in the country, according to a report released by National Bank on Wednesday.

The survey was based on a sample of 1,200 enterprises and showed that sales fell 15% in the third quarter of 2015, compared with the same period in 2014, after a 4.0% decline recorded in the second quarter.

Sales by very small enterprises dropped 23% in the third quarter of 2015 after a 10% fall in the second quarter., while exports fell by 9.0%

The report notes also it was important that capital controls should be lifted the soonest possible while SMEs still have cash reserves.

Two-thirds of SMEs expect a return to normality in less than three months after the lifting of capital controls, with one-third expects an immediate return.

According to the report, a 25% of SMEs cancelled investment plans, a 22% cut employment, a 7.0% temporarily suspended operations and only 1.0% transferred its base abroad.

However, as the report mentions, the imposition of capital controls had two positive effects on the Greek economy: the significant increase in the use of e-banking and POS card machines.

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