BUSINESS

Online turnover stems losses

EIRINI CHRYSOLORA

TAGS: Economy

Online transaction data for August showed that the sharp drop in commercial turnover observed in previous months was starting to ease, while over the first 10 days of September online turnover appeared to be almost on a par with the same period last year, feeding the Finance Ministry’s hopes that this year’s economic contraction won’t exceed 10%.

The data also reveal major differences between financial sectors: Those related to tourism (hotels, food catering, vehicle rental etc) and some others recorded a nosedive, while others flourished during the pandemic.

Figures show that online transactions have on the whole declined during the pandemic: In March they rose by 15%, in April they fell 21%, in May, June and July they lost some 10% in each month, in August they were down just 4%, and over the first 10 days of September there was a 1% increase, year-on-year.

“After several months, in the first 10 days of September e-transactions did not show a drop from last year, but were at roughly the same level,” a ministry source said. ”Of course we don’t know how sustainable this development will be,” they added, highlighting the main factor of the economic juncture – the uncertainty.

Also interesting is the major shift in the turnover mix that the pandemic has brought about, with winners and losers. Based on the latest data, from August 1 to September 10, the biggest losers were the sectors directly or indirectly associated with tourism, with air transport posting a 48% decline in August and a 58% drop on September 1-10; car rentals observed a 45-50% contraction in those 40 days and hotels a 50% slide. Gift and souvenir shops posted a 45% slump, the same as jewelry shops, which likely suffered not only due to the reduction of their tourism clientele but also because of the changes in consumers’ priorities during the pandemic.

In contrast, doctors saw a 60-70% rise, followed by dentists with 50-60%. Pharmacies observed a 30-40% rise and supermarket earned 25% more.

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