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Greek Household Incomes Down Average 38% From Cuts, Survey Shows

More than 90 percent of Greek households say their incomes have fallen since the start of the crisis, the average drop being 38 percent, according to a survey by Marc SA.

More than 82 percent say their total incomes amount to 25,000 euros ($33,900) or less as austerity measures have led to wage cuts and higher employment, according to the study for the Small Enterprises’ Institute of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants.

Sixty-six percent of respondents say total income doesn’t exceed 18,000 euros, and only 2.5 percent say they make more than 40,000 euros, according to the report.

Incomes have fallen as Greece has adopted austerity measures, including wage and pension cuts, in exchange for financing under two bailouts from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund since May 2010. In November, Greece’s parliament approved tax increases and spending cuts demanded by creditors for the release of funds required to keep the country solvent.

Of 40 percent who say they can’t meet their financial obligations on time, 61 percent say delays relate to taxes.

Gross domestic product has shrunk by a fifth since Greece went into recession in 2008, while more than a quarter of the workforce is unemployed. Retail sales dropped 16.6 percent in November from a year earlier.

Clothing, eating at restaurants and gifts are the categories in which most households say they have cut spending “significantly,” followed by heating, travel and recreational activities such as going to cafes, bars and the cinema. People have cut education and health spending less.

The survey of 1,207 households was conducted between Dec. 10 and Dec. 19.

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