MGI Weekly round-up | 25 August 2017

Stories MGI has been tracking this week:

  • Fitch upgrades Greece’s credit rating
  • Tunisia’s tourism revenues rise
  • A new industrial zone is coming to life in Egypt

And as always, we feature content from the MGI data and analysis platform, a summary of the week’s key statistical releases, and a look to the week ahead in data. This week, we use the MGI platform’s WB dashboard (World Bank data) to examine the historical evolution of tourist arrivals in Tunisia.

Fitch upgrades Greece’s credit rating
Last Friday, the rating company Fitch upgraded Greece’s long-term foreign-currency issuer default ratings from “CCC” to “B-”, citing reduced political risk and sustained GDP growth, Reuters reports. Standard and Poor’s upgraded the country to “B-” a month ago whereas Moody’s still maintains a “Caa2” rating.
The short-term Greek government bond yields dropped to 3.25% – close to its lowest level since 2009. Furthermore, the 10-year government bond dropped 5 basis points to 5.58% at the beginning of the tender and then it stabilized.

Tunisia’s tourism revenues rise
The tourism industry is an important sector for the Tunisian economy. It accounts for about 8% of the country’s GDP, provides many jobs and represents an important source of foreign currency. Nevertheless, this sector suffered after the Bardo National Museum and the Sousse attacks in 2015.

The situation has improved in 2017. Until now, revenues from tourism have increased by 19% in the year to date. In the period 1 January 2017 - 10 August 2017, 4.58 million foreign tourists visited the country. Due to the improved security situation and interest from new countries such as Russia, the number of foreign tourists visiting Tunisia is expected to increase by 30% this year compared to 2016.

The rising tourism revenues are expected to help Tunisia’s economy grow by 2.5% in 2017 compared to 1% growth last year.

A new industrial zone is coming to life in Egypt
A new industrial zone is coming to life near Egypt’s capital. The project represents a part of a major expansion drive of the leather industry — which is considered one of the most competitive sectors of this economy. The trade ministry set a $1 billion a year target for leather exports in 2020 compared to $200 million a year currently.

By the middle of next year, this industrial zone should house the whole supply chain: from animal slaughtering to finished leather production. This will allow global manufacturers to get materials and export final goods in a single location. ‘The value-added of our exports will increase five times when we reach the stage where we're exporting final products like shoes and bags’, Mohamed El Gohary, chairman of the firm marketing the site said. Foreign investors can start buying space in the city in 2018.

About 220 tanneries are being relocated to the new leather city. The tanners’ century-old location in Old Islamic Cairo is projected to be transformed into a tourist site.

Featured content from the data and analysis portal
The historic number of tourist arrivals arrivals and forecasts for MED countries can be retrieved using the MGI platform (
In 1980, Tunisia recorded 4.1 million tourist arrivals. This number reached a peak of 7.8 million in 2010, but has recorded large swings since, directly reflecting political and security developments in the country. Whether tourist arrivals increase or not in the near future will crucially depend on security developments and is hence impossible to predict accurately. Despite some positive recent signs, MGI forecasts suggest some further decreases in tourist numbers are likely.

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The week in data
Highlights from national statistics releases tracked by MGI this week include: 

Looking ahead
Next week, we will see new numbers for GDP, inflation and Manufacturing PMI for several Med countries. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at
Monday 28 August, 2017:

  • Italy business and consumer confidence for August
  • Turkey tourist arrivals for July
  • Malta PPI for July
  • France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction 

Tuesday 29 August, 2017:

  • France household consumption expenditure for July
  • France real GDP for 2017Q2, second estimate
  • Turkey economic confidence index for August and balance of trade for July
  • Italy 6-month BOT auction

Wednesday 30 August, 2017:

  • Spain domestic and harmonized inflation rate for August, preliminary estimate
  • Spain business confidence for August
  • Cyprus IPI for June and business and consumer confidence for August
  • Greece business and consumer confidence for August and PPI for July
  • Italy PPI for July and 5-year and 10-year BTP auction
  • Malta consumer and business confidence for August
  • Morocco M2 money supply for July
  • Tunisia IPI for June
  • Israel central bank interest rate decision
  • Croatia real GDP for 2017Q2, first estimate

Thursday 31 August, 2017:

  • France harmonized and domestic inflation for August, preliminary estimate
  • France PPI for July
  • Spain retail sales and tourist arrivals for July
  • Turkey Manufacturing PMI for August
  • Italy unemployment rate and employment for July
  • Spain current account for June
  • Slovenia real GDP for 2017Q2 and retail sales for July
  • Slovenia harmonized and domestic inflation for August
  • Slovenia unemployment rate and employment for 2017Q2
  • Cyprus unemployment rate for July
  • Greece retail sales for June
  • Italy harmonized and domestic inflation for August, preliminary estimate
  • Montenegro tourist arrivals for July
  • Montenegro unemployment rate and employment (register data) for July

Friday 1 September, 2017:

  • Spain Manufacturing PMI and new car sales for August
  • Italy Manufacturing PMI for August
  • Italy real GDP for 2017Q2, final
  • France Manufacturing PMI for August, final
  • Greece Manufacturing PMI for August and real GDP for 2017Q2
  • Croatia IPI for July
  • Croatia real GDP for 2017Q2, first estimate (detailed data)
Round-upalma economics