January to March 2012

The Cayman Islands annualised Real GDP rose by an estimated 0.8 per cent in the first three months of 2012 as compared to the estimated 1.2 per cent increase in 2011.

Higher growth rates were estimated for wholesale and retail (5.5 per cent), transport, storage and communication (5.5 per cent), construction (3.5 per cent), hotels and restaurant (2.5 per cent) and producers of government services (2.0 per cent).

The contracting sectors were utilities (-2.2 per cent), financing and insurances services (-2.1 per cent), and real estate, renting and business services (-1.6).

The Consumer Price Index remained almost constant, moving marginally up by 0.1 per cent compared to March 2011.

Domestic credit expanded anew by 5.6 per cent driven by a 20.4 per cent increase in credit to the public sector and a 3.8 per cent increase in credit to the private sector. A higher level of domestic lending to the private sector is traced to household lending activity.

The Cayman Islands prime lending rate remained at 3.25 per cent. Nonetheless, the weighted average lending rate on KYD fell by 16 basis points from 7.38 per cent in the first quarter of 2011 to 7.22 per cent in the same period of 2012.

Following modest recovery in its overall performance, activity within the financial services sector in the first quarter of 2012 was mixed amidst renewed global financial uncertainties arising from the European debt crisis. Upturns were noted for mutual funds registration (7.9 per cent), stock exchange listings (3.3 per cent), and insurance (0.8 per cent). However, downturns were recorded anew in banks and trusts (-5.3 per cent) and new company registrations (-1.0 per cent).

Total merchandise imports rose by 8.4 per cent to register at $184.6 million as non-oil imports expanded by 5.5 per cent and fuel imports rose by 20.2 per cent. The total values of oil and all petroleum-related products increased by 19.8 per cent to $42.3 million; food and live animals 11.8 per cent and manufactured goods classified chiefly by material (36.7 per cent).

Port calls in the first quarter of 2012 rose by two to 116 compared to a year ago. Overall the volume of imported cargo increased by 1.4 percent to 54,608 thousand tons; which is attributed to a 4.2 per cent rise in break bulk cargo to 650 tons that countered the 1.9 per cent decrease in containerized cargo. Although, both gas and diesel volumes declined, AV Jet and propane imports went up by 7.6 per cent and 5.8 per cent, respectively.

The value of project approvals increased during the review period by 47.9 per cent to settle at $46.7 million. This growth is traced to higher development intentions for apartments, government and industrial projects. The number of projects approved also increased by 32.4 per cent to 237.

After its peak record last year, the total value of property transfers reverted to a lower level of $116.6 million. This however remains higher than the recessionary years of 2009 and 2010.

Electricity consumption rose by 0.9 per cent while water consumption fell by 7.4 per cent. In telecommunications, all demand indicators moved downward in the first quarter of this year.

Finally, the overall fiscal deficit deteriorated to $13.7 million in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to $3.7 million a year ago. This resulted as total revenue declined by 7.7 per cent whilst total expenditure was lower by 0.4 per cent. The total outstanding debt of the central government increased to $609.1 million from $561.0 million a year ago.


  Jan–Mar ‘11 Jan–Mar ‘12 
Estimated Real GDP Growth Rate(%)    
Agriculture & Fishing  0.4 3.9
Mining & Quarrying 4.2-2.7
Manufacturing    0.5-1.9
Electrity and Water Supply (Utilities) -0.5-2.2
Construction 4.43.5
Wholesale & Retail Trade, Repairs & Installation -1.65.5
 Transport, Storage & Communication  1.65.5
Hotels & Restaurants incl. Bars 6.82.5
Financing & Insurance Services 4.1-2.1
Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities -0.6-1.6
Producers of Government Services -1.82.0
Average CPI inflation rate(%)0.030.10
Food and non-alcoholic beverages  2.7 5.3
Alcoholic beverages & tobacco 0.4    0.5
Clothing & Footwear 0.4  3.6
 Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels  -4.6   -3.9
Electricity price (first 1500 kwh)(CI$)463.7485.2
 Furnishings, household equipment,maintenance  1.60.5
Health 0.5    2.7
Transport 9.3    6.4
Average petrol full service per gallon (CI$) 5.05.5
Communication -0.7    2.2
Recreation and Culture    1.4    -1.4
Education    1.8   0.0
Restaurants and hotels  1.0    1.0
Miscellaneous goods and services     2.9   0.1
Merchandise imports (CI$ million) 170.2184.6




  Jan–Mar ‘11Jan–Mar ‘12
Banks and Trust licences 246233
Trust companies        125124
Mutual funds         9,2619,990
Insurance licences        749755
New companies registered       2,397 2,374
Stock exchange listing       1,136 1,173
Cruise ship passengers         510,648553,347
Cruise ship calls (Number)    205   204
Stay-over tourists(‘000)        93.896.2
Hotel occupancy rate   (%)68.6   n/a
Apt/Condo occupancy rate   (%) 48.8   n/a
Port calls    114   116
Imported cargo (‘000 tons)        53,84654,608
Containerized cargo (tons)        44,57343,712
Break Bulk cargo (tons)    624   650
Diesel imports (imperial gallons)      6,768,5736,371,206
Gas imports (imperial gallons)        2,917,0732,200,673
AV Jet (imperial gallons)        1,338,5731,440,348
Propane imports (imperial gallons)        332,592351,997
Number of project approvals     179   237
Houses        6360
Apartments/condos/Hotels    8   10
Commercial/Industrial    7   16
Government    4   2
Others        97149
Work permits in effect        20,452 20,107
Source: www.eso.ky, Economics and Statistics Office (ESO)




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