April 25, 2012
April 25, 2012
The National Accounts Section of the Department of Statistics has released the estimates of gross domestic product (GDP) for the period 2007-2011. The 2011 figures are preliminary, 2010 are provisional, 2009 and 2008 are revised and the 2007 have been held final until the next historical revision.
The 2011 preliminary results are based on early estimates from major data sources such as the Central Bank of The Bahamas, Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, and the Foreign Trade Section of the Department of Statistics, among others.
According to these early results, the GDP in current prices for 2011 had an increase of 0.2 per cent, while at constant prices the growth was 1.6 per cent.
The current GDP measures the value of all the goods and services produced expressed in current market prices. Constant GDP measures the value of all the goods and services produced expressed in the prices of a specific year.
Other key points in the report include:
- Exports of goods and services at constant prices were higher than at current prices during 2009-2011.
- The Average Tourist Expenditure Index shows that tourism represented an average of 65 per cent of all exports 2007-2011. This index indicates that tourists spent less per average tourist day during this period, firstly due to the global recession in 2009, when tourist expenditure dropped by $500 million, followed by a recovery that saw tourists taking advantage of promotional programmes offered by the industry.
- The Bahamas imported 84 per cent of all goods from the US in 2010. The US Export Index showed large changes to its All Items Index for 2008, 2010 and 2011. These years were severely impacted by high oil prices.
- The Private Final Consumption Expenditure or Household Expenditure Index fell significantly in 2009 in both current and constant prices. In 2009, households had less disposable income due to job losses, increasing prices and the worldwide recession. In 2010, however, household current expenditure increased by 4 per cent, while at constant prices the increase was slightly smaller at 1 per cent. This was due to a recovery in the job market on the back of the government’s road improvement programme, construction at the airport, the dredging and expansion of the harbour, refurbishment of Saunders Beach and of the government tourism complex. Householders also substituted lost earnings by becoming self-employed with informal businesses. In 2011, household expenditure at current prices grew by 2 per cent.
- The Gross Capital Formation Index measures the value of investment in buildings, machinery and infrastructure in the economy and is a combination of the materials and labour that are utilized to produce the various projects. In 2010, current prices investment decreased by $78 million. This decrease is supported by data on mortgage commitments obtained from the Central Bank February 2012 Report, which showed that in 2010 residential mortgage commitments fell by $73 million and commercial mortgage commitments by $36 million. Construction services imported also showed a decline of $5 million in 2010 and machinery and transportation equipment decreased by $56 million. Gross Capital Formation, however, made a significant recovery in 2011, growing by $221 million led by increases in machinery and transport equipment of $44 million and non-residential construction of $209 million (a major item of which is construction services imported, which grew by $147million).