The Corner

Canaries, Gasping

If this isn’t a depression, I don’t know what is.  Via Bloomberg News:

Greek retailers and wholesalers will see revenue fall by as much as 53 percent in 2012 as the country’s fifth year of recession will continue to hit sales, the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce said.

The average level of revenue in 2012 for 3,000 retail and wholesale companies surveyed by the confederation will be 144,508 euros, down from 309,888 euros in 2011 and 425,329 euros in 2009, the Athens-based trade group said in an e-mailed statement today. The firms from across Greece forecast their profit this year will fall to an average of 22,730 euros, a decline from 25,199 euros in 2011 and 49,213 euros in 2009, according to the statement. The companies predicted that the number of workers they employ will fall to an average of 2.58 people in 2012, compared with 3.01 in 2011 and 3.67 in 2009, the survey found….

Of the companies polled, only 27 percent had managed to get bank loans with the average amount at 145,495 euros, the survey poll. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.05 percent.

Judging by the average turnover cited (even in 2009) these are very small businesses, but if such businesses are the proverbial canaries in the Greek coal mine, that coal mine is not a place where anyone would want to be.

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