Sidebar: Statistics for Business
The country’s annualised GDP at constant prices rose in the first nine months of 2011 at an estimated rate of 1.2 per cent as compared to a contraction of 5.8 per cent in 2010. The major sources of expansion came from the following sectors: Hotels and restaurants; real estate, renting and business activities; construction; and financing and insurance services.
Meanwhile, the average consumer price index inflation in the first nine months of 2011 was recorded at 1.2 per cent. This was due largely to strong growth in transport prices, which may be traced to significant increases in fuel prices.
Merchandise imports grew by 6.1 per cent, which was largely a result of strong rebound in both the second and third quarters of 2011, particularly in oil and petroleum-related imports as non-oil imports declined.
Work permits continued to fall but at a rate (-5.2 per cent) lower than that of the same period a year ago (-13.5 per cent). Civil service employment also declined by 1.7 percent or 61 persons during the period.
Total money supply (consisting of currency with the public and bank deposits of residents) contracted by 2.0 percent to reach CI$5.2 billion. This came primarily from a fall in foreign currency deposits while CI dollar denominated broad money increased.
Domestic credit of the local commercial banks increased by CI$110.7 million to reach approximately CI$3.0 billion. This increase went to the public sector, which expanded its indebtedness to the local banks by 58.6 percent while credit to the private sector contracted by 1.2 per cent.
The weighted average lending rate fell slightly to 6.62 per cent from 7.01 percent a year ago while the prime lending rate remained stable.
The financial services industry’s listing and registration indicators in the first nine months of 2011 exhibited mixed performances. Upward movement was seen in new company registrations (14.1 per cent) and stock exchange listings (1.5 per cent).
Downturns were recorded in banks and trusts (-4.6 per cent) and mutual funds registration (-1.7 per cent) while insurance was unchanged.
Total visitor arrivals reached 1,299,001, a decrease of 7.4 per cent compared to a year ago. Air arrivals grew by 7.5 per cent while cruise visitors decreased by 10.1 per cent.
As at September 2011, indicators for future construction were marked with continued declines in the values of both building permits (-15.7 per cent) and planning approvals (-14.7 per cent).
Meanwhile, the real estate market grew as the value of property transfers rose to CI$555.6 million from CI$248.1 million a year ago.
Electricity consumption slowed by 1.1 per cent while water consumption grew by 1.2 per cent. In the telecommunication sector, total domestic and international paid minutes declined as the quantity of fixed and mobile lines dropped by 0.5 per cent.
Finally, the central government recorded an overall deficit of CI$17.0 million in the first three quarters of the year, an improvement from a deficit of CI$61.3 million a year ago. This resulted from increased revenue and a decrease in total expenditure.
The central government’s total outstanding debt stood at CI$622.3 million as at September 2011, as compared to CI$495.2 million as at September 2010.
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