Economic figures for the first quarter of 2020 were recently published and the results are dismal, and understandably so. Because the first quarter of 2020 was marked by the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the Monegasque economy, like the rest of the world, was forced to slow down. The results, published in an Economy Bulletin by the IMSEE* reflect a unique situation created by the worldwide pandemic.
The economic figures relate to sectors such as tourism, real estate, trade and finance. As of 16 March, the date which lockdown began in the Principality, certain activities such as staying in hotels and going to restaurants were almost completely halted, other fields saw reduced activity (construction, industry) while other businesses were operating normally (essential shops, banks and insurance).
Monaco’s turnover, trade and employment are all down
At the end of March 2020, the Principality’s turnover, excluding financial and insurance activities, decreased (-84M € or -2.6%) compared to 2019 and returned to its 2017 levels. Trade fell for the first time since 2016. Employment was down in the private sector (-3% of jobs).
Tourism takes a big hit
Tourism numbers went down sharply this quarter. The number of people arriving decreased (-18,772). The occupancy rate was stable in January and February, but fell in March (-41.7%). The number of arrivals from the European Union showed a slight increase over the whole of this first quarter (+1.4%), even if it collapsed in March (-84.4%). Only one cruise ship stopover took place in January. No stopovers were planned for February and the closing of Monegasque ports in mid-March did not allow the cruise sector to catch up with respect to 2019. Indicators for the hotel industry also fell sharply.
Property resale remains steady
Only the property resale market remains very dynamic. In fact, more than 100 transactions were carried out this quarter.
*The figures in the Economy Bulletin, published by the IMSEE, are compared with those for the equivalent quarter of the previous year. Data is collected from State Services (including the Tax Department, Tourism, Budget and Treasury) Caisses Sociales de Monaco and the French Customs Statistical Information Centre.