Greeks appear optimistic about their current economic situation and the future, according to an analysis by Alpha Bank on the Greek economy, despite disruptions from the pandemic and energy crisis.

As the analysis notes, the long-term trend of household forecasts for their economic situation and unemployment is favorable, reaffirmed by their intentions for significant purchases and savings, which have gradually improved compared to the previous decade and the crisis that hit the Greek economy.

Alpha Bank reports that private consumption is a key factor for the performance of the Greek economy in 2024, as it represents about two-thirds of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

The report examines the evolution of selected consumer demand indicators, attempting to outline trends in private consumption and savings through the monthly survey of the European Commission on consumer expectations by profession, education level, and age group.

The ongoing increase in employment (January-February 2024: 2.3%) and wage adjustments, including the recent increase in the minimum wage and daily wage from April 1st to EUR 830 and EUR 37 respectively, boost demand. However, the analysis points out that demand is affected by inflation and high-interest rates.

Consumer confidence increased by 3.8% annually, in January and by 4.4% in February, remaining positive since March 2022. However, the index of turnover in retail trade decreased by 2.3% on an annual basis in January, while the volume index (i.e., turnover at constant prices) decreased more significantly by 8.9%.

Regarding consumer expectations for unemployment, according to the most recent data for the first quarter of the current year, there was a marginal quarterly decline, but an improvement on an annual basis.