This week was one of the most positive ones for the stock exchanges for 2009. For a second consecutive week, the US exchanges registered growth – something we haven’t seen since May of last year. Dow Jones jumped with nearly 0.5% - from 7261 points to 7285. On Monday, FTSE 100 opened with 3789 points and closed on Friday with a growth of 1.24%. This progress is due to the news from Wednesday, which said that the US Federal Reserve will print more than $1 trillion. On Friday, the US stock exchanges registered a fall but it was not big enough to cancel out the progress for that week.
In Athens, the stock exchange closed with 1647 points, with 3.8% more than the 1584, with which it opened that week. Since March 9th – when the Athens exchange registered its lowest level since 2003 – the index increased with more than 12%. On Monday, the Minister of Economics Yannis Papatanasiou said that Greece does not have serious economic problems and that it does not need help from the EU. It seems, that this was also confirmed by the German Minister of Economics, who said that no country from the Eurozone is in such bad condition, in order to need financial help. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis assured that for now, New Democracy will not introduce new taxes. In more detail, the Prime Minister said that right now, the important thing is to increase the existing money in the economy, this is why all taxes for firms and enterprises do not make sense.
Unfortunately, there is also bad news. One of them was the unemployment report on Greece – it has increased with 7.1% in 2008 and now it has reached until 8% and it also seems that it will keep increasing throughout 2009. The government froze the public employees’ salaries and applied a onetime tax on citizens with annual income of over ?60 000 and on parliament members, aiming to manage the national debt. There is also bad news from the tourism sector. As Financial Times says, the tourist reservations from the beginning of the year have decreased with 10% compared to the same period last year.