Fast Market Research recommends "Greece Shipping Report Q4 2013" from Business Monitor International, now available
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/21/2013 -- Greece's outward-looking shipping sector remains partly protected from the full force of the domestic crash. The country's largest container port, Piraeus, is projected to record a double-digit box throughput increase of 13.5% in 2013, while total tonnage throughput is also expected to rise (by 10.3%). This reflects new investment, the port's role as a gateway into Europe, and growth in Greek foreign trade in 2013 (forecast at 2.6% in real terms, the first positive number after four years of steady falls).
Throughput at the country's second largest port in terms of total tonnage, the port of Thessaloniki, is in contrast forecast to fall by 23.0% y-o-y while box traffic there will contract by 3.5%.
No Recovery Until 2014
BMI continues to forecast that the Greek economy will contract again this year, for the sixth year in succession. While the country's economic fate remains grim, there are some signs of stabilisation. GDP fell by 5.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) in Q113, without a doubt a depressing number, but still not as bad as the 5.7% drop in Q412 or the 6.7% drop in Q312. Steep falls in household consumption continue to drive the economy down, while gross fixed capital formation and net exports are showing signs of recovery.
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Glimmers of light include a small recovery in consumer confidence, a rally on the stock exchange, and signs that the worst of the collapse in industrial production is now over. International trade is improving, with the trade deficit shrinking by about two-thirds since 2007. Admittedly the improvement is due more to a collapse in imports than to any surge in exports. While the coalition government has so far coped with the thankless and ongoing task of debt rescheduling and economic restructuring, we believe the country's politics will remain fragmented and exposed to the rise of extremist movements. So political risk will remain an important factor. Taking all this into account, BMI believes a long-awaited recovery will make a relatively timid appearance in 2014, when we have pencilled in growth of 1.7%. Looking further ahead we expect the rate of economic growth over the long term to remain around, or slightly below, the 2% mark.
Headline Industry Data
- 2013 port of Piraeus tonnage throughput forecast to grow 10.3% to 15.48mn tonnes; over the medium term we project average annual growth of 7.0%.
- 2013 port of Piraeus container throughput forecast to grow 13.5% to 2.69mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs); over the medium term we project annual average growth of 12.3%.
- 2013 total trade growth forecast at 2.6% in real terms, after an 8.9% contraction in 2012.
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