day. Retail sales were led lower by fuels, lubricants, foods, beverages and household appliances, the data showed. Retailers launched seasonal discounts in July up to end-August. Data on gross domestic product showed weakness in Greek consumer spending in the second quarter, when the economy expanded by 0.2 percent compared to the first three months of the year. Consumption declined 0.2 percent quarter-on-quarter in April-to-June, hurt by tax hikes.
Bulgaria will target a deficit of 1.4 percent of gross domestic product next year in a budget that projects higher revenues and spending, the finance minister said, steering a modest course toward economic reform in the European Union’s poorest country. Under the budget bill, approved by the government and awaiting parliamentary approval, economic growth is forecast to slow to 2.5 percent from this year’s expected 2.6 percent, mainly due to weaker exports, Vladislav Goranov said. “The budget is conservatively planned and is doable,” Goranov told reporters. “It also allows us to decrease the deficit if there is faster growth.”
Stelios Awards. Beach towel company Sun of a Beach won the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation’s top award for young Greek entrepreneurs yesterday, along with 30,000 euros. Another seven winners bagged 10,000 euros each. ‘These eight promising entrepreneurs stood out for their business ideas,’ said Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (right).