All Greek companies, and not just those that were forced to close during the lockdown, suffered losses in revenue reaching almost 35 billion euros in the period from January to September last year, according to the latest data published on Friday by the Hellenic Statistical authority (ELSTAT).
These losses are expected to be even higher in the fourth quarter of the year, at least compared to the first and third quarters, due to the second lockdown at the tail end of 2020, during a period that is traditionally characterized by increased consumption.
The ELSTAT data, which also includes November turnover, reflect the shock caused to the market by the second lockdown, and especially in the retail and catering sectors.
Retail, which was suspended as of November 7, saw turnover reduced in November by 38.5% compared to November of the year before.
Catering businesses, whose operations have been suspended since November 3, saw turnover drop 54.1% in November compared to the same month in 2019.
What’s more, the data showed that, altogether, Greek companies recorded a total turnover of 193.84 billion euros in the first three quarters of 2020, compared to 228.68 billion euros in the corresponding period in 2019 – a difference of 34.84 billion euros. Indicatively, total turnover in the third quarter of 2020 was 69.80 billion euros compared to 82.91 billion euros in the third quarter of the previous year – a slide of 15.8%.
This reduction is significant not only because there is a gaping hole of 13.11 billion euros, but also because it demonstrates the powerful impact on the economy and businesses, given that in the third quarter there were only some local lockdowns, and relatively these were not very long.
Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Friday in Parliament that the coverage provided by the state of 80% of the rent that businesses pay will be extended for another month until February.
Furthermore, unemployment benefits that have expired are being extended for another two months.
The time frame of the new measures appears to suggest that the government expects the pandemic and its impact to begin to recede at the end of March.