Bul­gar­ian deficit.

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

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).

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