Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Greek Ruins: A Delphic Oracle Speaks

I am a great fan of obscure economic statistics because they often reveal more about the true state of the economy than mainstream numbers like GDP.  For example,  the Cardboard Index in the US, which tracks the manufacture of corrugated paper for packing boxes used to ship goods.

As I was idly perusing the Greek Statistical Service (ELSTAT) website I came upon a data series which I had not seen before: visits to museums and archeological sites. The connection to tourism is obvious, particularly for well-heeled tourists who spend more on their vacations than just sun, sea, souvlaki and beer.

 Image result for delphi
Temple of Apollo in Delphi (up 28.8%)

For the period Jan-Aug 2017 such visits are up an impressive 18.8% vs. 2016 and receipts from admission tickets are up even more at 20.3%.  By contrast, tourist arrivals in general are up only 9-10%.

 Now, unlike Warren Buffett, I'm certainly no oracle; yet, I think I can clearly hear the Greek ruins speak... :)

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