Cayman is in for improved economic times, according to nearly two-thirds of respondents to a poll conducted by the Caymanian Compass.
On the eve of the Cayman Economic Outlook conference, participants were presented with a range of options. The number of people who selected “The economy will improve slightly” was 120, or a 44.7 percent share of the 269 respondents to the online poll.
Add to this the 40 people – that’s 14.9 percent – who selected “The economy will improve a good deal,” and the percentage is 59.6 with optimistic thoughts.
On the other hand, 51 people thought the economy would “decline slightly,” translating to 18.9 percent. Coincidentally, the same number (51, or 18.9 percent) selected the option that the economy would “decline substantially.” Together, that makes 37.8 percent. The remaining seven people (2.6 percent) selected “Other.”
There was a range of viewpoints shared by those participants who took advantage of the option to share their comments.
“Stayover tourism seems to have been good for the past few months,” wrote one person who had selected the “improve slightly” option.
“The Dr. Shetty Hospital is nearly open, and other projects seem to be getting underway.”
Another person who checked that option added a caveat.
“We are moving toward that delicate mix of policy and action, but more work is needed to understand the source issues of the economic machine,” they said.
Specific economic points were made by another commenter.
“Continued onshoring of Cayman Financial Sector jobs to India, Halifax etc and continued inefficiency caused by CIG’’s inability to cut costs/stop waste will be off set ever so slightly by an improving US economy,” they felt.
Those who said the economy would improve a good deal were also vociferous.
“Confidence in Cayman is on the upswing. Investment is starting again,” one person offered.
“There is an overall feeling of relief and hope in the air. Government is doing and saying many of the right things and appears to have the right people in place to get the job done.”
Previous political incumbents impressed another participant.
“The former premiere and his team started an ambitious revitalizing of the economy during their term in office,” they felt.
“Although some may have been hastily administered, many will come on line in the next few years and will stimulate the economy.”
Another person pointed to “record stayover tourism numbers,” as well as another factor.
“Real Estate sales are also getting back normal since the 2008 world economic crisis,” said the commenter.
Those who said the economy would decline slightly made a number of points to back up their votes.
“There were not sufficient procedures put in place or changes made in 2013 for a positive impact to occur in 2014,” warned one voter.
“The country should remember that last year’s planning leads to this year’s outcome.”
Advances in technology worried another person.
“The financial sector doesn’t need to have such a presence in GC because of technology,” they explained.
“Much cheaper to have the ‘back of the house’ requirements off island. Simple.”
Another person said that the economy here would “continue to decline until Republicans are back in charge in the US.”
Someone else felt that there was a lack of relative movement from Cayman in general.
“If we are doing the same thing for over a decade, why would you think we would have economic growth?” they asked.
The rollover was also cited as a factor for a number of commenters, one of whom cited “horrible immigration policies.”
“Too many financial contributors being forced to leave,” another person said.
That thread was picked up by someone pulling no punches who said the economy would decline substantially.
“With PPM sending expats packing at a frightening clip, the economy will definitely contract, as people realise all these unemployed Caymanians either can’t work or don’t want to work,” they blasted, controversially.
Another person pointed to rising prices across the board as a factor in the economy potentially slowing substantially.
“Companies might see improvement but majority of citizens are middle class who are turning into poor class. We cannot afford the cost of living,” they wrote.
“Therefore, it will decline. We need to make cost of living be affordable for the average person and not for the 5 percent that can afford.”
One person wondered why the poll did not include a “no change” option, albeit that they selected “Other.”
“Until the cost of living goes down I think Cayman will not see much of difference either way,” another person thought.
“But would love to say improve.”
From the same category, another commenter highlighted the thought processes that were involved in this hot-button issue which was inextricably bound with party, national and local politics.
“It really depends on whether the government officials look to viable long term plans for the country as a whole, or short sighted fixes that make their party popular but have no long term benefits or worse,” they noted.
Next week’s poll question
LIME has laid off 39 staff in a deal to outsource some jobs to Ericsson. Some of the workers could be rehired by Ericsson, but some jobs might be eliminated or sent overseas. What, if anything, should government do to protect Caymanian workers in this type of situation?
- Nothing, let the free market rule.
- Any jobs Ericsson maintains locally should go to Caymanians.
- Ericsson’s business license should prevent sending any jobs off island.
- Ericsson should be required by government to keep the same workers in the same jobs.
- Other (please explain).
To participate, visit caycompass.com.