ECLAC predicts Bahamas GDP growth of 2.2% in 2019

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean’s (ECLAC) outlook for The Bahamas’ gross domestic product growth is ahead of most predictions at 2.2 percent for 2019, though the ECLAC’s Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean reports an impending decline in economic growth for the region generally this year.

The ECLAC report explains that uncertainty, complexity and weak performance by investments, exports and consumption are threatening growth in the region.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has pegged The Bahamas’ GDP growth at 1.8 percent for 2019 and lower into 2020.

With the announcement yesterday that U.S. President Donald Trump plans to levy even more tariffs on goods from China, trade tensions could begin to rise even further and possibly further impact economic indicators for the region.

The U.S. trade war with China is something local economists and businesses people have been keeping a close eye on, in case it begins to affect the economy of The Bahamas.

A press release on ECLAC’s findings explains that the region will grow this year by only 0.5 percent, softer than the 0.9 percent experienced last year.

“This performance is attributed to the effects of a slowdown in synch with the global economy, which has meant an unfavorable international scenario for the region,” the release noted.

“Likewise, the low growth internally is due to the lack of momentum exhibited by investments, exports and a fall in public spending and private consumption.

“Compared to previous years, the slowdown in 2019 will be generalized and affect 21 of the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. On average, South America is expected to grow by 0.2 percent, Central America 2.9 percent and the Caribbean 2.1 percent.”

The report suggests governments create policies to curb the slowdown and increase economic growth in “fiscal and monetary areas, as well as in investment and productivity”.

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Chester Robards

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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