Cayman’s gross domestic product grew by 2 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2016.
Data provided by the Economics and Statistics Office shows that while the economic performance was broad-based, the construction sector, wholesale and retail trade and utilities contributed most to the growth. The financial and insurance sectors, which make up the largest part of GDP, grew by 1.4 percent.
The first quarter economic expansion is consistent with annual growth forecasts of 2 percent, the ESO said.
The economic performance also buoyed government’s finances. Despite an 8.2 percent increase in expenditure, central government recorded an overall surplus of $178.1 million in the first quarter as a result of 2.7 percent higher total revenue.
The rise in government revenue resulted from domestic taxes on goods and services and financial services fees.
Government’s current expenditure rose by $5.8 million and its capital expenditure jumped by $5.5 million. Central government’s outstanding debt continued to fall. In March 2017, it stood at $481.3 million, 5.3 percent lower than a year earlier.
Inflation matches economic growth
Meanwhile, inflation matched economic growth rates, as consumer prices increased by 2.2 percent in the second quarter of this year compared to one year ago.
The Consumer Price Index showed a 7.9 percent rise in the price of restaurants and hotels.
Clothing and footwear (5.9 percent) and housing and utilities (4 percent) showed above average price growth.
Average food bills were 2.2 percent more expensive compared to the same period in 2016. Especially milk, cheese, eggs and fruit pushed prices up by 6.8 percent.
Despite an increase in petroleum imports, the total value of all merchandise goods imported into the Cayman Islands continued to decline in the second quarter. Non-petroleum product imports fell by $4.3 million, or 2.4 percent, to reach $176.86 million.
Among the merchandise goods that declined, gold imports registered the largest reduction. In contrast, transport and equipment parts and accessories grew by 24.7 percent, consisting mainly of passenger vehicles and vehicles for industrial purposes.
The importation of petroleum and petroleum-related products grew in the second quarter by 6.1 percent to reach $26.84 million.