ECONOMY

Fuel price dip should help ferries

The slowing global economy will weigh on Greece’s ferry industry, one of the largest in the world, though it will get some relief this year from falling fuel prices, according to a report made public yesterday. Greece’s ferry industry – which transports passengers and vehicles – accounts for 7 percent of the world’s coastal shipping fleet and contributes 0.70 percent to the country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP). A report prepared by National Bank said turnover in the sector is projected to drop by 3.8 percent in 2009 versus an 8 percent rise in 2007. «The slowdown of the international economy will affect decisive demand factors (tourism, trade, regional growth),» the report said. However a drop in the price of fuel, which accounts for 40 percent of ferry costs, will help boost bottom-line figures. Assuming that oil will be at $33 per barrel, the net profit margin will hit 18 percent in 2009 from almost zero in 2008, the report said.