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Household incomes have fallen by 40% since the beginning of the crisis

07 February 2013 / 18:02:40  GRReporter
2698 reads

Victoria Mindova

Nine out of ten respondents state that their household has suffered serious losses in income over the last three years as shown by the results of the annual research on the financial condition of Greek households conducted by the confederation of craftsmen and merchants. The average value of the reduction in income of citizens measured in Greece is 40% compared to the period before the crisis.

40% of respondents in the poll say that at least one member of the household is unemployed. More than half of the respondents state that their income is close to the poverty line and that the income available to them is insufficient to meet their needs. 73% of respondents are aware that their income will further decrease in 2013.

70% of respondents say they can afford to buy goods other than food only during periods of seasonal discounts. "This percentage has been steadily increasing over the last three years. At the beginning of the crisis in 2010, the number of people who shopped only during the time of seasonal discounts was significantly lower. Things seem quite different at present and the future prospects are even bleaker. In other words, the market is more active during the two main months of the year when the official discounts are announced and demand is in a state of coma during the remaining 10 months", the head of the confederation of craftsmen and merchants Dimitris Asmatoglou told GRReporter exclusively.

From 2010 onwards, 70% of Greek households have cut spending on food, 93% have significantly reduced the money spent on shoes and clothing. Citizens have decreased their heating expenditure by 85%. 57% of respondents state that they use the money from their bank savings and pension accounts or live on money borrowed from relatives and friends.

One in six respondents says that they are unable to cover all the costs of household needs, obligations to banks and government institutions and half of the respondents acknowledge that they will not be able to pay the taxes imposed on them next year.

"The 2012 data collected show that the majority of households have reached the limit of their financial capacity and they will soon fall into despair. So, the government must take into account the situation and prevent social explosion", said Asmatoglоu.

43% of citizens respond that after the crisis, they have changed their consumer habits and started buying products of lower quality, because they are cheaper. "This creates very bad conditions for the development of healthy competition", the expert comments. He explained that due to this consumer attitude, Greek producers cannot gain foreign markets in the long run. Reducing the quality may gain a slightly larger share in the local market in the short run, but it will be fatal to the realization of the goods abroad.

Meanwhile, the Athens Chamber of Commerce has announced that it is starting a close collaboration with the Cyprus Chamber of Merchants and Manufacturers. By joining forces, the two organizations aim to strengthen the position of producers in local markets and to act as an agent of the firms in order for them to expand their influence beyond the borders of the two countries.

"Cyprus can provide the Greek firms with a good basis to expand their activities in the Middle East markets which are our old customers", said the chairman of the Union of Entrepreneurs in Cyprus and Greece, Akis Pigasiou. The businessmen from Cyprus in turn believe that Greece might be a good starting point for them to expand their presence in the Balkan Peninsula. Their joint efforts aim to impose their products over the goods imported in Greece and Cyprus, and help one another to increase their exports.


Tags: EconomyMarketsPovertyResearchHouseholdsGreeceCrisis
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