The economic climate index fell in February and stood at 104.8 points, down from 107.2 points in January, the lowest performance in the last 14 months.

According to an economic situation survey by IOBEin the individual business indicators, a strong weakening of construction expectations is recorded, solely due to private projects, while marginal to small improvement is noted in the remaining sectors.

At the same time, the consumer confidence index declines marginally and falls to the level of February of the previous year.

“Recently, there have been intense uncertainties in the European and international environment that affect individual sectors of the Greek economy in various ways, through demand as well as the cost of financing, energy and raw materials. These are depressing foreign orders and expected sales for some of the outbound industries and making expectations relatively volatile. In general, however, in the business sector recently there has been a trend of moderate optimism. In households, however, despite the slight de-escalation of inflation, the pressure on real incomes from the high level of prices remains. Their expectations appear to be less positive than their business counterparts, although the gradual decline in unemployment allows larger segments of society to have new incomes that compensate for losses in purchasing power due to inflation. Overall, the evolution of the economic climate will depend on the performance of the economy in the short term, but mainly on whether conditions are created for a stable development course in the medium term” is noted in the IOBE research.

In more detail:

  • in manufacturing, the negative balance of orders and demand estimates strengthened, inventory estimates escalated while positive forecasts for production in the coming months improved significantly.
  • in construction, the positive forecasts for the work program of enterprises turned negative, while at the same time the positive forecasts for employment were slightly reduced.
  • in retail trade, estimates for current sales are marginally down, with inventory levels climbing slightly, while forecasts for short-term sales development are strengthening significantly.
  • in services, the positive estimates for the current state of businesses strengthened noticeably, as did those for demand, while correspondingly the forecasts for the short-term evolution of demand are moving, which are improving significantly.
  • in consumer confidence, households’ negative forecasts for the country’s economic situation narrowed marginally, while the corresponding ones for their own economic situation slightly strengthened. At the same time, forecasts for major markets weakened sharply and the intention to save declined.