The Cayman Islands’ economy recorded growth in the first quarter of the 2011, according to estimates from the government Economics and Statistics Office.
The growth from January to March was 1.2 per cent when compared to the same quarter in 2010. Cayman’s economy actually contracted in the first quarter of 2010 by 1.3 per cent.
The report for the first quarter 2011 was released by the statistics office on Friday.
Among the good results for Cayman’s economy: new company registrations increased in the first quarter by 11.9 per cent; air arrivals grew by 6.8 per cent; cruise ship passengers increased by 8.2 per cent; and the number of property transfers increased by 20.3 per cent – which means more properties were sold and a more money was made from those sales compared to an anaemic first quarter in 2010.
“I, along with the government, am very upbeat with respect to the future performance of the economy – which is based not only on positive results achieved in the first quarter of 2011 but also on the partnerships and initiatives that the government has forged with the private sector,” Premier McKeeva Bush said. “We are encouraged by the 2011 first quarter results and by the Islands’ bright future prospects.”
Several other areas of the local economy continued to struggle through a prolonged downturn that began in Cayman in late 2008.
Mutual funds registration fell by a slight 1.2 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2010.
Both bank and trust company registrations and insurance licences decreased in the first quarter.
Stock exchange listings dropped by more than 10 per cent
Building permits dropped by nearly 20 per cent.
The number of work permits held by foreign-born employees in Cayman also fell, but not as much as the drop seen in 2010.
“The downturn in work permits is plausibly the result of non-renewals in all sectors of the economy as businesses may be inclined to restructure to benefit from the anticipated economic upturn in 2011,” the statistics office report read.
Also noted in the tourism numbers was a slight contraction in total air arrivals from the US in the first quarter of 2011, compared to the previous year. However, US residents still made up 78 per cent of total visitor arrivals to Cayman for the period.