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UPDATE 1-Greek retail sales rise in Nov for first time in almost four years
January 31, 2014 / 11:16 AM / in 4 years

UPDATE 1-Greek retail sales rise in Nov for first time in almost four years

* Retail sales by volume up 2.9 pct yr/yr
    * First rise since April 2010
    * Shops offered discounts to attract customers
    * Sector sees stabilisation but no recovery yet


    ATHENS, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Greek retail sales volume
rebounded in November for the first time since April 2010, data
by statistics service ELSTAT showed on Friday, as shops slashed
prices to attract austerity-hit consumers.
    Retail sales by volume rose 2.9 percent year-on-year after a
1.1 percent annual drop in October. Retailers offered early
discounts in November, which helped sales volume even though
revenues remained stagnant, according to the data.
    "We are seeing a stabilisation of the market, not a
recovery, but that's good enough for us at the moment," ESEE
retail federation chairman Vassilis Korkidis told Reuters.
    December retail sales by revenue, which include the busy
Christmas season, dropped to an estimated 7 billion euros ($9.49
billion) from 7.6 billion in the same month a year earlier, he
said.
    "Customers are turning to lower-brand products to make ends
meet," Korkidis said. Greece is experiencing its first deflation
in more than 40 years amid its debt crisis.
    The retail sector has been in a protracted slump,
highlighting the pain EU/IMF-imposed austerity has inflicted on
household consumption.
    A 28 percent slump in private consumption has been the
biggest driver of the country's six-year recession, which is
expected to have shrunk national output (GDP) by almost a
quarter over the same period.
    Despite record unemployment and plunging incomes, private
consumption accounts for almost three quarters of the Greek
economy, the biggest share in any EU country.
    Economists expect falling consumption to remain a drag on
the economy this year, which will pull out of recession and grow
by 0.6 percent, according to government and EU/IMF projections.
******************************************************
    KEY FIGURES        NOV   OCT    SEPT    AUG    JUL
    Retail sales*
    by volume (y/y)    2.9  -1.1** -5.2    -7.7   -13.9
    Retail sales*
    by revenue (y/y)   0.0  -2.1** -6.3    -8.9   -14.1
    ----------------------------------------------------
    * Includes fuels and auto lubricants
    ** revised
    source: ELSTAT

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