Real economic decline of 8.4 per cent last year   | THE DAILY HERALD


PHILIPSBURG–The Department of Statistics estimates that in 2017 real gross domestic product (GDP) growth was down 8.4 per cent. “This is not surprising given the anticipated negative impact of Hurricane Irma on the economy of St. Maarten,” stated a press release.

GDP in current prices decreased from NAf. 1.919 million to NAf. 1.815 million last year, whereas, real GDP decreased from NAf. 1.765 million in 2016 to NAf. 1.616 million in 2017. Values for real GDP are adjusted for inflation to remove the impact of changes in price levels, providing a more accurate figure of economic growth.

The biggest gross value-added declines in current prices were recorded for the industries “financial intermediation” and “transport, storage and communication,” which dropped by 35 and 13 per cent respectively. In contrast, the “health and social work” and “other community, social and personal services activities” industries recorded the largest gains in gross value added namely 37 and 29 per cent respectively. Other major industries such as “trade” and “hotels and restaurants” also saw a drop in gross value added of nine per cent each.

When looking at the GDP by expenditure in constant prices, there was a decrease in both exports and imports of 23 and 12 per cent respectively.

However, there was an increase in both final consumption expenditure and capital formation. Overall, final consumption expenditure increased by 4.3 per cent in which the household component (household final consumption expenditure) went up three per cent and the general government final consumption expenditure by 11 per cent.

Lastly, gross capital formation increased from NAf. 242 million in 2016 to NAf. 268 million in 2017, an increase of 11 per cent.

Readers should note that these are preliminary figures subject to revision once the ongoing National Accounts Survey is complete. The latter seeks to capture final data for the years 2016 and 2017 based on the final financial statements among the business sector.

Final estimates for 2016, 2017 and estimates for 2018 will be published in the second quarter of 2019.

Source: The Daily Herald