Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Greek tourism: a quasi-worrying print in May.

Greek mainstream press is awash with stories claiming that 2014 will be a bumper year for Greek tourism. It remains to be seen whether this will prove to be the case here (and I wholeheartedly wish that it will be but one particular data print worried me a bit).

Here’s the relevant chart.

source: Bank of Greece

May was the first month that a hefty rise in travel services exports was recorded in 2013. Jump to May 2014 and the growth in relevant exports can be characterized as anemic at best. 

If one cares to look  closer then he/she will find out that the rise in receipts for the Jan-May period was lower than that of non-residents’ arrivals. Something that was not the case in 2013 when on a year-over-year basis receipts rose more than arrivals. This means that receipts per capita fell (thus far) in 2014 while it had risen in 2013.

source: Bank of Greece

Now that the base effect is over, will growth in travel services exports slow to a halt like it did in May? If that is the case then growth estimates could prove to be overly optimistic. Fingers crossed that May’s print was just a blip.

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