Greek economic sentiment worsened in September as the government failed to conclude talks with international lenders on 13.5 billion euros of austerity measures for the next two years, daily Kathimerini website reports today quoting Bloomberg. An index measuring short-term economic trends fell to 76.1 from 77 in August, the Athens-based Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research, known as IOBE, said in an e-mailed report Thursday. Consumer confidence fell to minus 75.6 from minus 65.2, its lowest level since May, the foundation said. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has spent months trying to reach an agreement on the measures with officials from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, and the political parties supporting his coalition government. The package is key to the release of 31 billion euros under the country's bailouts, designed primarily to recapitalize Greeces banks in a bid to boost liquidity in a cash-starved economy. "The drop in consumer confidence is expected and can be explained by the fact that for at least two months people have been receiving successive, often contradictory messages about the contents of the fiscal package," IOBE said in the statement.
While sentiment worsened in retail and construction, there were improvements in the services and industry, where the index rose to a 13-month high of 80.9 from 77.1 in August.