December 31, 2012 / 11:16 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Greek retail sales slump deepens in Oct, recession bites

(Adds details)
    ATHENS, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Greek retail sales fell 18.1
percent year-on-year in October, recording the steepest drop in
almost two years, as the deep recession and record-high
unemployment took a toll on consumer spending.
    Figures released on Monday by the statistics service
(ELSTAT) showed the decline in retail sales by volume
accelerated from a revised 11.8 percent drop in the previous
    Austerity measures including higher taxes and cuts in public
sector pay and pensions to shore up public finances have
squeezed household budgets with consumers also worried over
unemployment which hit a record 26 percent in September.
    Retail sales had registered a 19.4 percent fall in December
    "Unfortunately, 2012 is leaving the retail trade sector
wounded, with small-to medium-size firms facing conditions of a
deep recession," the Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) said
in a statement.
    With the economy shrinking at an annualised rate of nearly 
7 percent in the third quarter, official projections see the
economic slump continuing for a sixth straight year in 2013.
    The government forecasts national output (GDP) will shrink
by 4.5 percent next year. The economy is expected to shrink by
almost a quarter in 2008-2013, the country's worst postwar
    KEY FIGURES              OCT   SEPT     AUG     JULY
    Retail sales*
    by volume (y/y)         -18.1  -11.8**  -9.3    -9.2
    Retail sales*
    by revenue (y/y)        -17.1  -10.4**  -7.3    -8.1
     * Includes fuels and auto lubricants
    ** Revised numbers
     BREAKDOWN                (in pct, y/y)    
    Supermarkets                 -16.7
    Department stores             -6.4
    Fuels, lubricants            -25.2
    Food, beverage, tobacco      -13.5
    Drugs, cosmetics             -18.8
    Apparel, footwear            -25.1
    Furniture, appliances        -12.1
    Books, paper goods           -12.1
    source: ELSTAT

 (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Toby Chopra)
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