Tuesday, June 30, 2009

EconNews Roundup

If the Europeans are not spending, switch to the Arabs. But this is easier said than done. While I was OK with the article in general, one important omission is the fact that this is going to matter only on the margin, as the number of Arab tourists coming to Turkey is a fraction of the Germans, Russians or Brits. It may boost sales for a few shopping malls in Istanbul, but the Marmaris carpet shop owner will not feel this (or see any Arabs for that matter).

Speaking of retail, the May retail index points to a limited recovery in May. But there are two important disclaimers: First, the index, prepared by Nielsen for AMPD, measures shopping malls and organized retailers, which makes about 40% of the sector. So the small guys are left out. Moreover, the real question is not whether there was a recovery or not in the spring, there definitely was. But the billion (as I will detail in my next blog on the latest GDP figures) dollar question, which I touched in my latest Hurriyet column, is whether the recovery will continue into the summer.

Finally, I should say that the CNN-Turk presentation of the index, which I happened to listen to on the radio on the way to the meeting yesterday afternoon, was a disaster: The Nielsen CEO giving some figures without explaining if they are monthly or yearly increases, seasonally adjusted or not. Luckily, the Daily News article is much clearer.

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