MGI Weekly round-up | 16 February 2018
Stories MGI has been tracking this week:
- Greek bonds are under pressure
- British tourists flock back to Tunisia
- Morocco hits record tourism numbers
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. In this newsletter, we use the MGI platform (WB section) to see the historical evolution of the number of tourist arrivals in Morocco.
Greek bonds are under pressure
While the bond yields of most European countries remained virtually unchanged compared to the end of last week, Greek bonds suffered another day of pressure on Monday. The country's new seven-year bond rose to 3.99%, compared with 3.5% last Thursday and 3.66% last Friday. In addition, the ten-year bond yield rose to 4.29% compared to 3.69% last Monday.
These developments show that, despite the decline in Greek bond yields in the last three months, they seem to be far from the level of confidence currently enjoyed by the bonds of other countries that emerged from the rescue process – underlining the need for a security clause after the rescue program expires, Ekathimerini reports.
In a speech on Monday, Greek Central Bank Governor Stournaras stressed the need for preventative financial support after the end of the current rescue program – which would allow the ECB to continue accepting Greek bonds as a guarantee to secure cheap liquidity to Greek lenders. In his speech, the Governor also stressed the need to change the current mix of fiscal policy, moving away from high taxes and towards cuts in unproductive spending.
British tourists flock back to Tunisia
British package tourists have returned in numbers to Tunisia’s Mediterranean coast for the first time since the terrorist attack which killed over 30 people in 2015.
The visitors brought in by travel company Thomas Cook were greeted at the airport in Sousse, the site of the deadly assault, by a folk band and Tunisians. This is a “strong message of reassurance” to other tourism companies said Neji Ben Othman, director general of the National Tourist Office. He believes that Tunisia can expect a rebound in tourism with more than 70,000 tourists to visit in 2018.
While seen as a success story during the uprisings in the Middle East in 2011, Tunisia’s transition from dictatorship to democracy has been hampered by high unemployment, terrorist attacks and labour disputes, Bloomberg reports.
Morocco hits record tourism numbers
Morocco finished 2017 with a record number of over 11 million tourists visiting the country. That’s a 10% rise against the previous year.
Revenues stood at 69.7 billion dirhams (€6.16 bn) compared to 64.2 billion dirhams in 2016 (€5.9 bn) and €5.67 billion in 2015. The number of nights spent by tourists in Morocco rose by 15%, the ministry added. The city of Marrakech saw the number of tourists increase by 20% to 2 million in 2017.
Morocco is now progressing steadily towards the goal of becoming one of the world’s 20 largest tourist markets, Research and Markets said in a recent report. The country has also launched Vision 2020, which aims to double the size of the tourist sector and boost revenues to $15bn annually by the end of the decade, The North African Post reports.
Featured content from the MGI data and analysis portal
This week we use the WB section of the MGI platform to look at the historical evolution of the number of tourist arrivals in Morocco. The period under review is 1995-2015.
As shown in the graph, the number of international tourist arrivals has steadily increased in Morocco during the examined period. Of the 2.6 million tourist arrivals in 1995, the number more than doubled to 5.8 million by 2005 and quadrupled to around 10.2 million by 2015. The number of tourist arrivals in Morocco is projected to increase further in coming years.
The week in data
Highlights from national statistics releases tracked by MGI this week include:
- Unemployment rate in Palestinian Territories stood at 24.5% in 2017Q4 (down from 29.2% in 2017Q3)
- Italy’s Real GDP grew 1.6% YoY and 0.3% QoQ in 2017Q4 (preliminary estimates)
- Cyprus’s Real GDP in the 4th quarter of 2017 increased 4% YoY (flash estimate)
In the coming week, we expect inflation figures for several Mediterranean countries. MGI’s complete data release schedule can be viewed at our release calendar section.
Monday 19 February, 2018:
- Israel inflation expectations for February
- Italy current account for December
- France 3-month, 6-month and 12-month BTF auction
Tuesday 20 February, 2018:
- Turkey consumer confidence for February
- Turkey general government debt for January
- Spain balance of trade for December and 3-month Letras auction
- Israel IPI for December
- Montenegro inflation rate for January, final estimate
- Montenegro inflation rate for February, preliminary estimate
Wednesday 21 February, 2018:
- France Manufacturing, Services and Composite PMI for February, flash estimates
- Spain industrial orders for December
- Israel composite economic index for January
- Slovenia employment (detailed register data) for December
Thursday 22 February, 2018:
- France business confidence for February
- France domestic and harmonized inflation for January, final estimates
- Italy industrial orders and industrial sales for December
- Italy domestic and harmonized inflation for January, final estimates
- Turkey business confidence and capacity utilization for February
- Morocco inflation rate for January
Friday 23 February, 2018:
- Spain PPI for January
- Croatia inflation rate for January