The Bahamas’ Economy Benefited from the Completion of Foreign Direct Investment Projects

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Acting Prime Minister the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest presented the 2018/19 Mid-Year Budget Statement in the House of Assembly, Wednesday, February 27, 2019. (BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)

Acting Prime Minister the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest said the Bahamas’ economy benefited from the completion of a number of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects last year. These included the opening of the final phase of Baha Mar resort — the Rosewood Hotel — and the official opening of the entertainment complex at The Pointe. While presenting the 2018/19 Mid-Year Budget Statement in the House of Assembly, Wednesday, February 27, 2019, the Acting Prime Minister pointed out the other FDI projects that have already received approval and are in the infancy stage. These include the $194 million Sterling Hurricane Hole Community Resort and Marina, the $5.2 million Pinder’s Bay Ltd project that is to feature 28 residential beachfront bungalows and a clubhouse, and the $580 million South Abaco investment, for the development of a 5-star Residential Resort and Marina.

He explained that approximately nine companies have been approved under the Commercial Enterprises Act, some of which would have contributed to FDI, as well. “With more projects in the pipeline, we can expect to realize further gains in the rate of economic growth and employment opportunities in the short to medium term.”

Latest Labour Force Survey

The Acting Prime Minister said preliminary results from the Department of Statistics’ latest Labour Force Survey reveal that the jobless rate for The Bahamas featured a 70-basis point uptick to 10.7 percent for the six months to November 2018. He said while the number of employed persons rose by 2,305—the bulk of whom were absorbed by the private sector—the total labour force grew by 4,250, due in part to a 6.7 percent decline in the number of discouraged workers to 2,030, and the seasonal intake of school leavers into the labour force. 

The Acting Prime Minister said, “Encouraging was the gain in the number of self-employed persons by 11.9 percent over the six months to November, totalling 32,475 persons. “While these results show that our initiatives to create jobs through support of small businesses and entrepreneurship are beginning to produce concrete economic and employment benefits, it is clear that our efforts will have to be enhanced to meet the demand of the market.” He pointed out that a breakdown by island showed a 1 percentage point rise in the jobless rate in New Providence, while trends for Abaco and Grand Bahama contrasted with declines of 3 percentage points and 0.5 percentage point to 7.7 percent and 11.9 percent, respectively. He added that it is also notable that the unemployment rate among youths moved lower to 23.1 percent from 24.1 percent in May.

Price Developments

The Acting Prime Minister said ‘price developments’ is yet another important economic indicator that the Government monitors, because of the direct impact on the ability of people to purchase goods and services. He said, “The rate of increase in consumer prices rose to 3.8 percent for the 12 months to September 2018, from 1.0 percent in the previous year, reflecting the one-time pass-through effects of the increase in Value-Added Tax.”

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