ECONOMY

In Brief

BoG study says tourism’s potential is largely untapped Around 70 percent of Greece’s income from foreign tourism originated in the old 15 European Union members in the 2003-2005 period, a special Bank of Greece study released yesterday shows. According to the report, «Frontier Travel Survey,» spending per visitor rose from 714 euros in 2003 to 738 in 2004 and 744 in 2005, while the average duration of stay remained around 11 days in all three years. However, spending per overnight stay was below the average in all 25 EU members. Particular findings of the study indicate a significant potential for increasing incoming tourism in the off-peak months, and an untapped potential for attracting more visitors from new markets (such as Russia, the new EU members and the emerging economies). As regards outgoing tourism, Greeks traveling abroad spent on average 587 euros per trip in 2003, 598 euros in 2004 and 656.70 euros in 2005. The average number of overnight stays fell from 12 days in 2003 to 10 in 2005. Growth rate remains robust in second quarter The economy grew at an annual 4.0 percent pace in the second quarter of this year, Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said yesterday, maintaining the previous quarter’s strong expansion. «Indications are that growth in the second quarter will be 4 percent, maybe higher,» Alogoskoufis said in a speech to Greek diplomats. Economic growth hit 4.1 percent in the first three months of 2006, with the government projecting 3.8 percent for the full-year. (Reuters) Folli Follie Jeweler Folli Follie issued a 210-million-euro bond to refinance existing debt, the retailer said in a stock-market filing yesterday. Alpha Bank was the underwriter for the issue. Folli designs, produces and sells jewelry, watches and accessories in Europe and Southeast Asia. In July, Folli raised its stake in Greek duty-free monopoly Hellenic Duty Free Shops to 52.28 percent from 49 percent. (Reuters) Manufacturing growth solid Greek manufacturing growth remained solid in July, supported by substantial gains in output and new orders, a monthly survey of around 300 companies by NTC Research showed yesterday. July’s seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) remained unchanged to that of the previous month at 53.7, NTC data showed. The 50 mark separates contraction from growth. (Reuters) Turkish surplus rises Turkey’s primary surplus, a key measure in its IMF loan accord, is set to reach 37.057 billion lira ($25 billion) this year, well above an official target of 32.264 billion, a Finance Ministry report said in Ankara yesterday. It also showed the budget deficit was expected to be 9.2 billion lira this year, below a target of 13.996 billion. The budget deficit-to-GNP ratio is seen at 1.7 percent and the primary surplus-to-GNP ratio is seen at 6.7 percent. Bosnia EBRD loan Bosnia signed yesterday on a 12-million-euro loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to finance an air traffic system that will help Sarajevo control its air space. In June, European Union peacekeepers (EUFOR) handed back management of the air space from an altitude of 3 kilometers (10,000 feet) and above to local authorities. Currently, 75 percent of the charges collected from airlines for flights through Bosnian air space are paid to service providers in Belgrade and Zagreb. Bosnia plans to assume full control of air space by the end of 2008. (AFP)