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New Market Study, "Greece Shipping Report Q3 2013", Has Been Published

Fast Market Research recommends "Greece Shipping Report Q3 2013" from Business Monitor International, now available


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/30/2013 -- Still In The Dumps, But Is The Worst Over?

It is (still) grim in Greece. 2013 remains on track to be the fifth consecutive year of recession in the country. The combined impact of fiscal severity and internal devaluation is hammering domestic demand, the main driver of economic activity. Consumer spending remains down by 8-9% on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, and unemployment is touching 27%. Industrial production is down by around 35% since the pre-crisis peak. As the government wearily negotiates debt rollovers with the troika (the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) the political risks also remain on the downside and BMI cannot exclude an abrupt Greek departure from the eurozone (although our core forecast is for Greece to remain inside it). Having said all that we recognise some signs that the worst may be over. The trade account is beginning to rebalance, with the 12-month rolling deficit narrowing by nearly 60% since mid-2008. Admittedly this is being driven by weak domestic demand rather than by exporters becoming more competitive, but at least it reduces the drag on growth. There are also some signs of a pick-up in gross fixed capital formation, led by inventory re-stocking. We are therefore maintaining our existing forecasts for GDP. After dropping by an estimated 6.3% in 2012, we think GDP will contract again this year by 4.2%. The encouraging note is that we have pencilled in modest positive growth in 2014, when GDP should rise by 1.7%.

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Greece's outward-looking shipping sector remains partially 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 20.9% 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 forecast to grow by 3.4% y-o-y while box traffic there will gain 6.3%.

Headline Industry Data

- 2013 port of Piraeus tonnage throughput forecast to grow 10.3% to 15.482mn tonnes; over the medium term we project average annual growth of 7.0%.
- 2013 port of Piraeus container throughput forecast to grow 20.9% to 2.869mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs); over the medium term we project annual average growth of 14.2%.
- 2013 total trade growth forecast at 2.6% in real terms.

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