Monaco’s official statistics office has published details of economic performance in the first quarter of 2020 and concludes that the Principality was not spared the repercussions of the global crisis in trade in goods due to the coronavirus crisis.

The volume of trade with the outside world, overall turnover, the number of jobs and the creation of businesses fell in the first quarter. Only construction and finance did well, the Monaco Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (Imsee) said.

Sophie Vincent, the director of Imsee, unveiling the long-awaited figures at a press conference on Friday, described the period as totally atypical.

The slowdown in economic activity started in February, followed by a sudden halt on March 16. This followed two successful years for the Monegasque economy.

The volume of imports stood at 149.6 Me (-50.8 percent) and that of exports at 173.1 Me (-40.9 percent) compared to the same quarter of 2019, bearing in mind that the figures for the second quarter are likely to be worse.

The heaviest losses were in accommodation and food services (-28.5%), transportation (-18.7%) and industry (-16.3%). Conversely, the real estate (+ 25%) and construction (+ 7%) sectors grew strongly in the first quarter of 2020.

Finance Minister Jean Castellini expressed his considerable satisfaction at the performance of the real estate market, which translates into higher VAT returns. This will be very good news if the trend is shown to have continued during the second quarter.

PHOTO: Jean Castellini, Minister of Finance