Central Bank of The Bahamas
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Indications are that the domestic economy maintained its modest pace of growth in December, and was improved overall for 2018, according to The Central Bank of The Bahamas‘ latest economic report. Output was supported by ongoing gains in tourism, while foreign investment projects continued to fuel construction sector activity.
The economy’s uptrend was evident from strongly elevated foreign currency inflows through the banking sector and equally robust demand, evident in external payments for goods and services.
The environment sustained further employment gains, although paced slower than active labour force growth, both during the six-months to November and in the year-over-year comparisons. In monetary developments, bank liquidity contracted during December, as the falloff in total deposits outstripped the decline in credit, with a resulting reduction in external reserves.
The latter reflected elevated public sector demand, for refinancing of foreign currency debt with domestic funding.
Commenting on the report, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said: “We are experiencing moderate growth in a stable economy, and given the size of the turnaround required, that is a good sign. The full recovery of the economy is still ahead of us, but we are confident that with our initiatives to stimulate growth, we will continue to see a strengthening economy.”
“As we capitalize on the robust tourism performance, the steady flow of foreign direct investment, and the expansion of the small business sector, we will build more momentum overtime and speed up recovery. We absolutely must remain disciplined and steadfast in containing public expenditure growth. That is critical to strengthening recovery efforts, and achieving stronger, more sustainable and resilient growth.”
The government says that its economic growth agenda recognizes the important contribution of Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) to employment generation and inclusive growth.
“This is why we are firmly committed to our partnership with the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC), which has already inspired over 2000 Bahamians in Nassau, Exuma, Grand Bahama and other islands to register for training and business advisory programmes,” said Turnquest.
“During a press conference on Wednesday, we look forward to sharing new details about the range of game-changing financing options now available to small businesses that will enhance the work of the SBDC in empowering scores of young, Bahamian entrepreneurs,” he added.