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Government revises GDP on new data – PDF

The National Accounts Section of the Department of Statistics has announced the release of a revised data series for the gross domestic product of The Bahamas, covering the years 2012 to 2016. 

Monday, October 2, 2017
Monday, October 2, 2017

The National Accounts Section of the Department of Statistics has announced the release of a revised data series for the gross domestic product (GDP) of The Bahamas, covering the years 2012 to 2016 during a press conference at the department, September 29, 2017.

Assistant director, Department of Statistics with responsibility for National Accounts, Clarice Turnquest said: “These changes incorporate the introduction and revision of major data sources; implementation of the revised United Nations System of National Accounts SNA 2008; a shift to using the double deflation methodology in the constant price series and the use of a new benchmark 2012 Supply and Use table (SUT).”

“It should be noted that the SUT is the third compiled by the Department, with previous releases in 2002 and 2007.”

Turnquest explained that the SUT is a comprehensive matrix that tracks the supply of goods and services available in the Bahamian economy, and correspondingly, consumption and production by businesses, households and government.

She said preliminary results reveal that the GDP in constant prices for 2016 had a growth, in real terms, of 0.2 per cent.

“The industry growth at constant prices was due mainly to increases in the industries of construction (24 per cent); wholesale/retail trade (seven per cent); and business services of a professional/technical nature (six per cent).

“The sectors that contributed mostly at constant prices were consumption by households, which grew by 1.9 per cent and government consumption which increased by 5.2 per cent. Gross fixed capital formation also grew by 3.4 per cent, due mainly to on-going capital works, as well as major repairs from Hurricane Matthew.”

Turnquest said the imports of goods and services sector, which normally has a dampening effect on GDP growth, increased by 3.4 per cent led by growth in imported services of 21 per cent, based on data from the balance of payments.

She explained that consistent with the department’s revision calendar of the GDP series, GDP for 2012 to 2016 will be subject to further review and any revisions will be included in the 2017 National Accounts Report in April of next year.

Turnquest said in developing the 2012 SUT, the department benefitted from technical assistance provided by the Caribbean Regional and Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) – an International Monetary Fund (IMF) regional entity.

“The objective of the review undertaken by CARTAC’s chief real sector economist was to ensure that, far as the data permitted, the department incorporated the various recommendations submitted during previous expert missions conducted by CARTAC.”

She said important inputs into the 2012 SUT were:

· The 2012 Household Expenditure Survey (HES), which measures the types and level of consumer expenditure on goods and services—both domestically and internationally;

· The aggregated data from the value added tax system;

· Results from the expanded business establishment surveys, utilizing International Standard Industrial Classification Revision 4 (ISIC Rev.4); and

· Revisions in other major data series, such as the balance of payments, as compiled by The Central Bank of The Bahamas; and tourist expenditure measures, produced by the Ministry of Tourism.

Turnquest said: “The combination of the listed new data sources and methodology revisions has resulted in an upward revision in the level of GDP, which will correspondingly affect a wide range of indicators where it is used as a reference point. For example, trends in public expenditure, revenue and public debt are typically analyzed in terms of their ratios to nominal GDP.”

Download the National Accounts 2016 Report here.

The Bahamas is preparing to host a major international maritime conference next month. The event, running October 18-20, is expected to attract more than 200 experts and industry leaders. Watch a Tourism Today segment here.

Speaking at the recent Business-to-business Expo held in Freeport, Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson said The Bahamas needs to diversify its economy and foster an entrepreneurial spirit.

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