Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Greece Shipping Report Q1 2014", is now available at Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/27/2014 -- GDP To Grow For The First Time In Six Years
At long last, after six years of recession, there are some positive signs in the Greek economy. They have to be put into context however: in 2013 economic activity levels continued to shrink, but the good news was that they did so at a slower rate than in previous years. And in the second half of 2013 there were signs of improving sentiment. The economic sentiment indicator published by the European Commission, which remained at record lows in 2012, began what looked like a sustained process of improvement in 2013. BMI believes this has been an early portent of a change in the real economy in 2014, which will be helped along by improving eurozone demand. Therefore we are forecasting a return to positive GDP growth in 2014, with a modest +1.1% expansion rate (down from the forecast of +1.7% in our last quarterly report). We believe GDP will accelerate to +1.8% in 2015. The most important feature of our forecast is the simple fact that the economy will grow for the first time in years: but as can be seen, we expect the recovery to be fragile. Given the very high levels of unemployment in the country, the improvement in household consumption will be limited. Without a recovery in foreign demand for Greek exports, or an inflow of European foreign direct investment, the sustainability of the domestic economic recovery is not guaranteed.
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Greece's outward-looking shipping sector continues to be partly protected from the full force of the domestic crash. Trade and European transit freight demand play an important part in determining overall activity levels, as does investment in port facilities. Because of this the Port of Piraeus has been able to show year-on-year (y-o-y) gains in both tonnage and container traffic since 2011, despite falling Greek GDP. The Port of Thessaloniki, which has lacked the benefits of large new investment, has followed a rather more volatile path with some quite sharp contractions in volume in 2011 and 2013.
Headline Industry Data
- 2014 port of Piraeus tonnage throughput forecast to grow 7.8% to 16.685mn tonnes; over the medium term we project average annual growth of 5.7%.
- 2014 port of Piraeus container throughput forecast to grow 13.0% to 3.125mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs); over the medium term we project annual average growth of 11.9%.
- Port of Thessaloniki tonnage to grow 1.8% to 12.399mn tonnes in 2014, and average 2.1% on the medium term
- Port of Thessaloniki box traffic to gain 1.7% in 2014 to 326,455 TEUs, and to average 2.0% annual growth in the period running up to 2018.
- 2014 total trade growth forecast at 2.9% in real terms, up from 2.6% in 2013.
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