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DPM touts economic growth numbers in central bank report

The government released a statement yesterday touting the country’s economic growth, evidenced by The Central Bank of The Bahamas’ most recent Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) report for December 2018. The statement insisted that the economy is “on the road to recovery”.

The government hailed its fiscal and economic policies as the driving force behind turnaround in the economy.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said a full recovery is still ahead for The Bahamas and the current moderate growth is a good sign.

“The full recovery of the economy is still ahead of us, but we are confident that with our initiatives to stimulate growth, we will continue to see a strengthening economy,” said Turnquest.

“As we capitalize on the robust tourism performance, the steady flow of foreign direct investment, and the expansion of the small business sector, we will build more momentum over time and speed up recovery. We absolutely must remain disciplined and steadfast in containing public expenditure growth. That is critical to strengthening recovery efforts, and achieving stronger, more sustainable and resilient growth.”

The MEFD report revealed that at the end of 2018 the improvements in tourism numbers that occurred throughout the year was sustained in December, “with both the airline and hotel accommodation indicators showing strong gains”.

According to data from Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) cited in the MEFD report, total departures rose by 12.3 percent in December, which carried on a growth trend from the previous year.

“This was underpinned by a 13.4 percent gain in U.S. departures, compared to the previous year’s 3.4 percent growth,” the MEFD report states.

“Further, the non-U.S. international component rose by 6.8 percent, albeit a slowdown from the prior period’s 14.5 percent expansion.

“Similar trends were evident over the twelve-month period, as total departures strengthened by 13.8 percent, vis-à-vis a 0.8 percent softening in the previous year. There were corresponding recoveries in both U.S. and non-U.S. international traffic, of 13.2 percent and 17.4 percent, from declines of 0.6 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, a year earlier.”

The government’s statement also also hailed the its program to grow micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the county to spur employment generation and growth.

“This is why we are firmly committed to our partnership with the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC), which has already inspired over 2000 Bahamians in Nassau, Exuma, Grand Bahama and other islands to register for training and business advisory programs,” said Peter Turnquest.

“During a press conference on Wednesday, we look forward to sharing new details about the range of game-changing financing options now available to small businesses that will enhance the work of the SBDC in empowering scores of young, Bahamian entrepreneurs.”

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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