The rise of the digital sector in Monaco: a breakdown of figures

A new report shows that there were a record number of digital-sector businesses last year in Monaco, generating close to a billion euros in revenue and showing that the State’s digital transition is well on track.

Monaco’s digital economy is defined by four activity groups, namely Advertising and Communication, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Content and Media, and Other.

And it is certainly an industry on the rise.

IMSEE’s latest Focus report on the digital economy in Monaco shows that there were 915 active companies working under one of these four digital categories in 2021, up by 49 establishments over 2020, and beating out pre-pandemic 2019 by 84.

This steady rise shows important development in the digital sector, which now accounts for 9% of all active companies in the Principality. Broken down, Advertising and Communication are the biggest with 48.7% of the total number of entities, followed by ICT at 38.9%, Content and Media at 12.1%, and Other with 0.2%.

Digital generated €858.8 million in revenue last year, a yearly increase of 18.4%, with ITC notably accounting for 61.6% of that amount.

Content and Media took in nearly a quarter of the revenue at 24.1%, while Advertising and Communication accounted for 14.1%. It marks a significant growth of 32.6% for this category in just 12 months.

Overall, the fast-growing digital sector made up 6.1% of the Principality’s revenue in 2021.

Digital boosts employment opportunities

It is a sector that employs 1,810 people in Monaco, 83 more than in 2020, with the lion’s share, 1,300, working in ICT. More than 70% of those working in digital jobs are men, broken down into 1,275 male versus 534 female workers. This is roughly 10 points higher than in other private sector employees, however women are represented differently depending on the job. In ICT, only one in four workers are women whereas in Content and Media, it is equally split.

Most of these workers, 88.9%, live in France in either the neighbouring towns or in the Alpes-Maritimes. Italy is underrepresented for the average, with only 2% of employees hailing from there.

The average age of the digital worker in Monaco is 41.4 years old, slightly younger than the overall average of 42.5.




Photo credit: Christopher Gower on Unsplash





ECB announces record rate hike to fight inflation

The European Central Bank on Thursday raised its key interest rates by an unprecedented 75 basis points to fight runaway inflation.

Following up on its July rate hike, the European Central Bank (ECB) raised its deposit rate to 0.75% from zero and lifted its main refinancing rate to 1.25%, their highest levels since 2011, with further moves anticipated in October and December.

“This major step frontloads the transition from the prevailing highly accommodative level of policy rates towards levels that will ensure the timely return of inflation to the ECB’s 2% medium-term target,” the ECB said in a statement.

The ECB has raised its inflation projections once again, lifting the 2023 outlook to 5.5% from 3.5% and putting the 2024 rate at 2.3%, above its 2% target.



Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash





Video: European Commission lays out response to energy crisis

As Europe grapples with a worsening energy situation, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has given a statement about the EU’s current and future plans to lessen dependence on Russia.

The war in Ukraine has been a disaster for Europe on many levels, but it has made one thing crystal clear: The European Union was a bit naive to rely on Russia for so much of their energy supplies.

This hard lesson is coming into sharp focus now that the Russia has declared that it will not reopen to the Nord Stream pipeline, the single biggest to Europe, until sanctions against the country have been lifted.

Now that energy supplies are being used as a weapon against the EU, the bloc has no choice but to look at ways of lessening dependence on Moscow and this was laid out in a speech by European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday.

A series of measures had already been put in place, such as asking people to reduce gas usage to create reserves, which has been a success. The goal was to reach 80% in joint storage by the end of October, and there is currently a supply of 82%.

The EU also has been moving away from reliance on Russian fossil fuels, with coal no longer being imported at all and oil imports “winding down”. Countries such as Norway, the United States, Algeria and Azerbaijan have stepped in to fill the gap with Norway now delivering more gas to the EU than Russia.

Additionally, and perhaps the most important measure, has been the investment in renewable energy supplies. Von der Leyen said the EU “will deploy renewables this year that are an equivalent to around about eight billion cubic metres. So, the renewables are really our energy insurance for the future.”

Amid sky-rocketing electricity prices, the drought lessening hydro-electric output, and more than half of France’s nuclear reactors out of action, the EC president outlined more immediate plans. First is reducing electricity usage during peak hours via a mandatory target. This will be coupled with a revenue cap on energy companies with low costs.

“The low-carbon energy sources are making in these times enormous revenues because they have low costs but they have high prices on the market,” said Von der Leyen. “Revenues they never calculated with; revenues they never dreamt of; and revenues they cannot reinvest to that extent. These revenues do not reflect their production costs. So, it is now time for the consumers to benefit from the low costs of low-carbon energy sources like, for example, the renewables.”

The same treatment will be applied to the oil and gas companies whose prices will be capped to deter profiteering.

She also spoke about energy companies’ current inability to cope with this volatile market. Her solution: look to more safe sources.

“Here, it is a problem of securing futures markets. And for that, liquidity is needed. These companies are currently being requested to provide unexpected large amounts of funds now, which threatens their capacity not only to trade, but also the stability of the futures markets. It is a liquidity problem. Therefore, we will help to facilitate the liquidity support by Member States for energy companies. We will update our temporary framework and enable thus state guarantees to be delivered rapidly.”

Her final point was a proposition to put a price cap on Russian gas and slowly strangle their economy into submission.

“We all know that our sanctions are deeply grinding into the Russian economy, with a heavy negative impact, she said. “But Putin is partially buffering through fossil fuel revenues. So here, the objective is: We must cut Russia’s revenues, which Putin uses to finance his atrocious war in Ukraine. And now our work of the last months really pays off. Because, at the beginning of the war, if you looked at the imported gas, 40% of it was Russian gas, since a long time. Today, we are down to 9% only.”

New-look Ferrari head into Italian GP with a familiar feeling

The tifosi will descend en masse on Monza this weekend to cheer on Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz during an Italian GP that will ultimately feel inconsequential to the title race.

The Italian GP has thrown up many surprises in recent years. Pierre Gasly got his first, and so far only, race win at the iconic circuit in 2020, whilst last year, McLaren secured a one-two with Daniel Ricciardo taking the chequered flag.

Few are expecting a surprise winner this weekend, but the major surprise is the way in which the title race is poised, or not, going into the race weekend itself. This was supposed to be a triumphant return for Ferrari, a pivotal race in the constructors and drivers’ titles. Such was the expectation pre-season and during the opening races, that it was almost unfathomable to think that by the beginning of September there would be a run-away championship leader, even more so if one was to say that the runaway leader wasn’t even at the wheel of a Ferrari single-seater.

But this is the reality for Ferrari. Although there will be the usual fanfare that accompanies the event, the on-track action is likely to feel utterly inconsequential. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen now has a lead of over four race wins with just eight races remaining. Only a collapse of epic and unprecedented proportions will deny the Dutch driver consecutive titles. Speaking after Verstappen’s fourth consecutive win in the Netherlands last weekend, Leclerc all but threw in the towel, admitting that the gap is “now really big”.

So, Ferrari head into the race in an all too familiar position in recent seasons. They may be able to race for the win, but they aren’t in the race for titles. Few would have thought that to be the case when Leclerc stormed to pole and took the race win at the opening race in Bahrain.

Ferrari have, however, been handed a boost. The Mercedes has looked resurgent in recent races, and whilst they still lack straight-line speed, they were nonetheless expecting to challenge the Ferrari for the “best-of-the-rest title”. However, Lewis Hamilton is set to start from the back of the grid after taking an engine penalty. They will therefore only have George Russell to contend with.

And whilst Ferrari come into their home race with the familiar feeling of being out of the championship race, they do so with unfamiliar livery. There will be a temporary sprinkling of yellow added to the car, whilst Sainz and Leclerc will be dressed in yellow and black to mark 75 years since Scuderia was founded, which, along with blue, is one of the colours of the Modena emblem.

Ferrari may not be in the front for the title, but they remain in the hunt for race wins, and regardless of the larger context, a win at Monza will do a lot to lift the mood of the tifosi, who are dreaming of a repeat of 2019.



Photo source: Scuderia Ferrari Press Centre