Turnover in July-August 2023, according to the latest VAT-reports, increased in most industries compared with the same period in 2022. Industries in the consumer economy were particularly strong with 15% growth in tourism industries, 10% in retail trade and 13% in motor trade along with 28% in real estate activities.
Results in manufacturing were mixed as manufacture of basic metals decreased by 29%. Software and information technology were strong with 18% and 9% increase in turnover, respectively. Fishing, aquaculture and fish processing grew modestly by 3% although aquaculture recorded 20% growth in turnover.
Turnover in tourism industries continued to grow by 15% in July-August 2023 compared with the previous year. Despite growing significantly there are signs that the growth is normalising after a period of strong recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Nonetheless, turnover in the sector was at a record of 229 billion ISK, thereby topping the previous record of 226 billion ISK set in 2018 (in real terms). Therefore, it can be safely said that the effects from the pandemic have diminished and a period of new growth is beginning. Among specific industries within the tourism sector there was 18% growth in accommodation, 15% in travel agencies, 12% in food and beverage services, 18% in renting of cars and 11% in air transport.
Turnover in retail trade increased by 10% with notable growth of 15% in supermarkets, convenience stores and drug stores. Furthermore, the summer period was strong for wholesale and retail trade of motor vehicles with 13% increase in turnover. On the other hand, specialised stores, such as clothing and hardware stores, experienced only 5% increase in turnover relative to last year’s period.
Real estate activities, primarily renting of commercial premises, recorded 28% growth in turnover for a total of 27.7 billion ISK in July-August 2023. In a related area there was only 3% turnover increase in construction of buildings with 8% growth in turnover for the whole construction industry.
Lastly, mixed results were in manufacturing as turnover fell by 29% in manufacture of base metals due to a drop in aluminium prices. This was the fifth period of negative growth in a row and the most since 2016. On the other hand, food product manufacturing experienced 13% growth in turnover with particularly strong results in meat processing (21%).
About the data
Data for turnover according to VAT reports is preliminary. All numbers are in nominal terms unless otherwise specified. Inflation was 7.7% during the period of July-August 2022 to July-August 2023.
Revisions: At the time of our last press release for the period May-June 2023 VAT-turnover (excl. agriculture) was estimated to have been 1,228.0 billion ISK (+8.9%). Following a review with more data available the turnover is estimated to have been 1,230.7 billion ISK (+9.2%).