Shipping receipts sink by one-third

Shipping receipts plummeted by almost a third in the first eight months of the year, a slump likely to slash almost 2 billion euros from Greece’s economy this year, according to figures made public yesterday. Data provided by the Bank of Greece showed transport receipts, which mostly correspond to money earned from the shipping sector, fell 31.2 percent year-on-year to 9.06 billion euros between January and August. The decrease in shipping receipts will cut Greece’s annual economic growth by 0.7 to 0.8 percent this year, which translates into a decline of some 1.9 billion euros, National Bank economist Nikos Magginas told Kathimerini English Edition. The sector, which contributes some 4 percent to gross domestic product, recorded net receipts of 19.1 billion euros in 2008. For the month of August, transport receipts fell 38.7 percent to 1.07 billion euros, central bank data showed. The downward trend in shipping receipts is likely to continue in the next one to two years as freight rates remain low and the supply of shipping services remains high, according to experts. Greece’s 240-billion-euro economy is expected to shrink by between 1 and 1.5 percent this year ahead of a possible moderate recovery next year.