ATHENS - The unprecendented crisis caused by the expansion of the coronavirus pandemic led to a dramatic decline in optimism among management consultants over the medium-term prospects of basic economic data and productive factors in the next 12 months, Hellenic Association of Management Consulting Firms (SESMA) said in a report released on Wednesday.
The barometer report on the economy showed that the GRe+1 index fell to 7.3 pct at the end of March from 50.8 pct in December 2019. The average rate of difference between negative and positive answers for the general economic index was -11 pct with the index falling to negative territory for the first time since 2016.
This development reflected a decline in prospects for the country's GDP and unemployment rate. Expectations over production in the next 12 months followed the trend of macroeconomic data in the first quarter of 2020, with the Productive Factors Index falling to 25.6 pct from 48.4 pct.
A 68 pct of management consultants expect the Greek economy to return to positive growth rates in at least 12 months or more, but a 25.3 pct see a recovery in the next three months.
A majority of management consultants said EU funds should be used to help economic recovery, along with a euro-bond (33.3 pct). A 24.1 pct said the country needs to be supported on its own funds (24.1 pct) while a 7.1 pct said support should be secured from countries outside the EU.