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Bright spots of economic recovery

The local economy continues to show signs of improvement, according to a newly released economic report. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The local economy continues to show signs of improvement, according to a newly released economic report.

The Central Bank of The Bahamas’ Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) Report released October 6, is based on data from the month of August. It indicates that the country’s number one industry, tourism, showed a modest upturn bolstered by a rebound in the “high value-added” air travel market.

“Preliminary data indicates that tourism output grew modestly over the eight months of the year, benefitting from the ongoing recovery in the main North American markets, as well as a number of promotional campaigns aimed at boosting stopover arrivals,” read the report, which aims to provide the public with more frequent information on the Central Bank’s economic surveillance activities.

Initial data from a sample of hotels in Nassau and Paradise Island showed total revenue growing by 7.7 per cent to $167.0 million, due to a 3.1 per cent gain in average occupancy to 69.3 per cent and a 2.8 per cent improvement in average daily room rates to $241.06, the Central Bank reported.

The report suggests global recovery was “broadly sustained” during the month of August, “despite some signs of moderation in the growth momentum.”

“Asian economies remained resilient, due to robust gains in exports; however, the consumer led economies of Europe and the United States continued to face significant headwinds,” the report notes. “Economic indicators were mixed in the United States, as private demand remained weak and government’s fiscal stimulus tapered.”

The MEFD Report predicts that not only will the domestic economy continue to stabilize, but tourism will also record “a slight uptick” over the remainder of 2010. Meanwhile, modest growth is being projected for 2011, due to “a more sustained recovery in the global economy.”

“All of our core business [in The Bahamas] is driven by the international community. An understanding of the international context is absolutely critical,” says BAF chief executive officer.

In his address the prime minister said that The Bahamas, in particular, faces a number of environmental challenges, primarily the threat from global warming–noting that a 2m rise in sea level would submerge 80 per cent of the nation’s landmass.

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