Greece’s economic sentiment index fell to 70.6 points in September, one of the lowest levels in history, the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said on Thursday.

In a monthly report, IOBE said business expectations remained negative in all sectors of the economy, while consumer confidence reflected a strong pessimism over the current and future economic situation in the country. Speculation over a default -orderly on uncontrolled- of the country, uncertainty over the release of the sixth tranche of the EU-IMF bailout loan and additional tax burdens, further dampened sentiment in Greece. Greek consumers remained highly cautious over economic developments, their household finances and unemployment prospects.

More analytically, business expectations in the manufacturing sector remained negative over production prospects, while expectations over new orders remained unchanged and expectations over inventories improved slightly in September.

In the services, sector, business expectations over the current level of works improved significantly, while expectations over demand also rose in September, although the outlook for short-term demand fell in the month.

In the retail sector, negative expectations over current sales worsened further, inventories showed some improvement, while very negative forecasts over sales in the next three months remained unchanged.

In the construction sector, business expectations over the current level of works remained extremely low, while expectations over employment in the sector showed a significant improvement.

Consumer confidence remained extremely low in September.