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National debt above $8 billion

The country’s national debt is now above $8 billion as reported at the end of 2018, sitting at 64.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), according to The Central Bank of The Bahamas’ (CBOB) 2018 annual report.

Last year this paper reported that the country’s national debt was almost $8 billion at the end of 2017, sitting at a dangerous 67.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) as reported in the CBOB’s 2017 annual report.

According to the CBOB’s annual report, government’s contingent liabilities increased by 18.1. million to $722.3 million due to “a rise in the guaranteed

obligations of two utilities”.

“As a result, the national debt, which includes contingent liabilities, grew by $335.3 million (4.3 percent) to $8,219.6 million, a significant slowdown from the $834.1 million (11.8 percent) expansion recorded in the prior year,” the annual report states.

“Similarly, the national debt to GDP ratio decreased by 20 basis points to an estimated 64.6 percent, following a 5.2 percentage point increase to 64.8 percent in 2017.”

The government has long condemned the amount of money it has had to borrow to cover past bills it said has been left over by the previous government.

The government’s direct charge now stands at more than $7 billion.

“During the calendar year, the government’s direct charge rose by $317.3 million (4.4 percent) to $7,497.3 million, a slowdown from the previous period’s $864.5 million (13.7 percent) expansion,” the report notes.

“Consequently, the ratio of the direct charge to GDP fell by 10 basis points to approximately 58.9 percent. Bahamian dollar denominated debt — at 65.4 percent of the total — expanded by $341.2 million (7.5 percent) to $4,905.1 million. In contrast, foreign currency claims fell by $24.0 million (0.9 percent) to $2,592.2 million.”

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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