Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/19/2014 -- Headline GDP data continue to suggest that Greece is on the mend. This is being driven largely by an improvement in net trade, which is positive from the perspective of economic rebalancing. However, we continue to stress that the rebalancing process is suboptimal given that the improvement in net trade comes largely from import compression rather than more substantial gains in export competitiveness.
Going forward, we maintain that the recovery will be weak and drawn out, with the risk of a further deterioration in eurozone demand posing a significant threat to our medium-term forecasts. Therefore, although our outlook for consumer spending is now marginally better than it was a few months ago, there are still inherent challenges that need to be overcome and this is a recovery in confidence and spending that is still arguably at an embryonic stage.
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Headline Industry Data (local currency)
- 2014 per capita food consumption = -0.1%; forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 2014-2018 = +1.3%.
- 2014 alcoholic drink value sales = -1.6%; forecast CAGR 2014-2018 = 0.6%.
- 2014 soft drink value sales = -2.1%; forecast CAGR 2014-2018 = 0.1%.
- 2014 mass grocery retail sales = 0.1%; forecast CAGR 2014-2018 = +1%.
Key Company Trends
Companies Remain Committed To Greece Despite Outlook: Given the gloomy economic and consumer outlook for Greece, companies are likely to increase their focus on cost-reduction strategies. The question remains of how far they are prepared to go, as the political situation remains electrified. Nevertheless, some companies remain committed to the country. For example, in March 2013 the Greek division of Switzerland-based food and drink company Nestle dismissed news reports that it has asked the Greek government to make it easier to fire employees, reports Greek Reporter. Instead, the company reportedly has plans to invest around EUR8mn (US$10.4mn) into modernising its factories and developing new products.
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