The Cayman economy grew at a rate of 2.4 percent in the first nine months of last year.

The latest available gross domestic product figures reported by the Economics and Statistics Office show that the economic performance was broad-based and driven mainly by growth of the construction industry, hotels and restaurants, electricity and water supply, and business activities.

Tourism-related businesses were supported by a rebound in air arrivals which grew by 5.3 percent. However, cruise arrivals during the period declined.

The finance and insurance sector, Cayman’s largest sector, continued its recent performance, expanding by 1.2 percent. Especially, new company registrations during the period rose by 14.2 percent to 9,625, while new partnership registrations increased by 13.8 percent to 2,821.

The number of work permits issued rose by 2.7 percent to 23,723 year-on-year but dropped by 1.7 percent compared to the previous quarter ending in June.

The unemployment rate was revised up to 4.9 percent from 4.3 percent in connection with an estimated slowdown in employment in the construction industry, the ESO’s third-quarter economic report showed.

The solid performance of the economy in the first three quarters of the year combined with expectations of robust growth in the fourth quarter has resulted in an upward revision of the full-year forecast year to 2.4 percent from 2.1 percent, the ESO said.

Central government recorded an overall surplus of $115 million in the first nine months of 2017, an improvement from the surplus of $114.1 million a year ago.

Although government expenditures grew slightly faster (2.1 percent) than revenue (1.8 percent), total revenue outweighed government spending in absolute terms.

The increase in revenue was generated mainly from domestic taxes on goods and services, including accommodation and financial service fees.

In contrast, the rise in expenditure resulted from a sharp increase in capital spending.

Central government’s outstanding debt dropped to $464 million as of September 2017 from $498.7 million recorded a year earlier.

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