• Greek June-Aug retail spending drops 12.7%

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    ATHENS: Greece’s retailers association on Monday reported a 12.7-percent drop in sales over the last three months year-on-year, as government capital controls take their toll on customers’ spending.

    A study by the association said turnover for June, July and August “will not exceed 9.25 billion euros ($10.36 billion), against 10.5 billion a year ago.”

    In June, “losses reached 305.4 million euros”—a 5 percent fall since a year earlier—with losses then accelerating over the next two months. Takings plunged 14.9 percent and 17.3 percent in July and August, respectively, according to the study.

    The radical-left government of Alexis Tsipras, who quit as prime minister on August 20, triggering snap elections, imposed a raft of capital controls at the end of June in a bid to prevent a catastrophic bank run.

    While some of the capital controls have since been relaxed, Greeks remain unable to withdraw more than 420 euros ($471) a week from ATMs, dampening retail spending.

    Cash withdrawals totaled 1.5 billion euros nationwide in July, according to figures from the Bank of Greece—the lowest since November 2014.

    AFP

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