IOBE: Consumer, business confidence slightly up in May; negligible impact of campaign bonus by Tsipras govt

3 June 2019
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A slightly improved economic climate was recorded in Greece last month, compared with April 2019, with relevant consumer and business confidence indexes, nevertheless, still moving at a lower rates than in the same month of 2018.

According to a monthly bulletin by the Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE), indexes were affected by the pre-election climate in the country, as European Parliament elections were held in the last Sunday of May, although the impact of results was not measured in the latest study.

IOBE’s economic climate index showed a marginal increase in May 2019, reaching 100.8 points, up from 100.3 points the previous month, but down from 103.6 points in May 2018.

Expectations by the retail sector and service businesses were up, with the same sentiment falling in the construction sector. The consumer confidence index rose for a third straight month.

One noteworthy result cited in the IOBE study is the lack of a significant impact on consumer confidence from the abrupt allocation of an extra monthly benefit doled out by the Tsipras government, which it dubbed as a so-called “13th pension”. Greek PM Alexis Tsipras himself took to the national airwaves to announce the bonus for all social security beneficiaries in the country – up to 500 euros, gross – just ahead of European Parliament elections. Nevertheless, Tsipras and his hard left SYRIZA party subsequently suffered a convincing loss in both the Europarliament election and across-the-board in municipal and regional government races.

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