Spending on necessities plummets

20 August 2016
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The dramatic drop in the consumption of food and basic necessities by 5 percent in first half of 2016 has revealed how hard Greek households have been hit by the economic crisis.

According to the market research company IRI, supermarket turnover in the six-month period from January to June fell by 8.8 percent compared to the same period last year, while sales volume fared even worse, plummeting 12.6 percent.

According to experts in the supermarket sector, the drop in consumption is linked to consumers’ compromised “endurance levels” and hikes in value-added tax.

“Throughout the crisis, a gradual decline in sales has been observed,” a supermarket executive told Kathimerini, adding, however, that this year witnessed an outright plunge.

In June, for instance, the value and volume of sales dropped by 14.5 percent and 17.7 percent respectively compared to the same month in 2015. This, however, was attributed to the imposition of capital controls and the calling of the referendum, which spurred consumers to rush to supermarkets to stock up on supplies.

IRI figures also showed that prices per item have risen by 3.8 percent in the first half of 2016.

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