In an interview with Naftemporiki daily on October 14, Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras identified two key sources that could reduce – if not eliminate – the emerging funding gap as of July 2014, currently estimated at 10.5 – 11.0 billion euros. Both solutions involve rolling over of Greek government bonds (GGBs) that mature in 2014.
Just one week after the Greek Finance Ministry submitted to Parliament the draft budget for 2014 - which sees a primary surplus of 2.9 billion euros, or 1.6 percent of GDP – European Central Bank executive board member Joerg Asmussen appears to have put the economic plan in some doubt, while testing the limits of Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras’s positivity.
The central government net balance to September on a cash basis showed the deficit widening to 8.88 billion euros from 6.53 billion last year, according to the Bank of Greece (BoG). At the same time, the primary cash deficit also expanded to 3.32 billion from 543 million.
Greek banks’ Eurosystem funding, the combined liquidity they have received from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Greece (BoG) Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) mechanism, dropped by another 1.4 billion euros in September, according to the BoG’s monthly financial statement.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July edged marginally higher to 27.6 percent from 27.5 percent in June, according to data released on Thursday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).
The Industrial Production Index posted a drop of 7.2 percent in August with the figure for the first eight months of the year also retreating by 3.8 percent, according to ELSTAT. This means that except for April and June, all monthly readings so far in 2013 exhibit a single digit drop of between 4.5 and 7.7 percent.
The budget execution to September showed revenues beating monthly targets by 339 million euros for the third straight month in September with the year to date shortfall further narrowing to 710 million from its peak of 1.61 billion euros at the end of June, according to the preliminary data released by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) today.
Greek building activity (measured by the number of building permits) dropped 24.0 percent in July with the respective surface figure easing 8.6 percent, while volume remained flat year on year, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).
Greece’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained on negative ground in September, easing by 1.1 percent compared to a 1.3-percent drop recorded in August. On a monthly basis, CPI rose by 2.6 percent, while the average rate of CPI change over the trailing twelve months turned negative at -0.1 percent for the first time.
Having suffered huge losses due to the PSI last year, completed a series of M&A that reshuffled the domestic banking landscape and successfully recapitalised in June, Greek banks remain at the forefront of domestic corporate developments. Their stock performance, with gains in excess of 50 percent over the past three months, has also triggered increased interest from the investment community.