0

Govt Debt Just Short Of $8bn

Central Bank of the Bahamas.

Central Bank of the Bahamas.

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

The Bahamas' national debt was just short of the $8bn mark at end-June, although its growth rate slowed significantly in a second quarter known for generating strong economic activity.

The Central Bank of The Bahamas' just-released report for the three months to end-June 2018 revealed that the national debt increased by just $35.1m during this period, compared to the $669.4m year-over-year surge during the previous.

This indicates a major slowdown in the national debt's growth rate, which was likely aided by the traditional pick-up in revenue-generating economic activity that coincides with the peak winter tourism season.

"The direct charge on the Government rose on an annual basis by $695.3m (10.6 percent) to $7.245m at end-June, while the increase over the three-month period was more muted at $37.7m (0.5 percent)," the Central Bank said.

"Government's contingent liabilities contracted by $2.6m (0.4 percent) during the second quarter, and by $25.9m (3.6 percent) over the fiscal year to $700.6m. As a result, the national debt - inclusive of contingent liabilities - rose by $35.1m relative to the prior quarter, and by $669.4m (9.2 percent), vis-à-vis June 2017, to $7.946bn."

This meant the Governments' total debt, as a percentage of GDP, rise by almost three percentage points - from 60.6 percent to 63.5 percent - during the year to end-June 2018. The direct charge, which excludes debt guaranteed on behalf of government corporations and agencies, rose by a slightly greater amount - from 54.6 percent to 57.9 percent.

Baha Mar's opening drew a 26 percent year-over-year increase in total average room revenues among major Nassau and Paradise Island hotels, but this came at the expense of yields as some properties engaged in room rate discounting to stimulate demand during the peak Easter season.

"Total average room revenues for the quarter grew by 26 percent, outstripping the marginal 0.7 percent increase a year earlier," the Central Bank said. "Underlying this outturn, the average hotel occupancy rate firmed by 1.5 percentage points to 68 percent, a turnaround from a 9.7 percent fall-off in the prior year, as the number of room nights sold rose on average by 27.3 percent.

"Nevertheless, the average daily room rate (ADR) fell by 1.7 percent to $240.12, due in part to some price discounting by several properties in April to stimulate demand during the Easter holiday period."

The construction sector, though, continued to exhibit continued weakness. "The latest available construction sector data for the first quarter of 2018 revealed a 4.9 percent reduction in the number of building starts in New Providence and Grand Bahama to 97, following a 19.7 percent falloff in the comparable period of 2017," the Central Bank said.

"In addition, the corresponding value declined by 58.9 percent to $25.3m after growing more than two-fold to $61.7m in the prior period. Supporting this outcome, the number of commercial projects fell by 17.6 percent to 14, and the associated value decreased by 62.2 percent to $4.5m.

"In a slight offset, the residential component grew by 12.2 percent to 83 in number, with the value increasing by 12.9 percent to $20.8m. Further, the public sector component reported no activity during the review quarter."

The Central Bank continued: "The overall number of completions in New Providence and Grand Bahama rose marginally by 0.7 percent to 143, while the attendant value increased more than two-fold ($55.8m) to $105.5m.

"In the underlying developments, the number of completed residential projects rose by 2.9 percent to 108, with the corresponding value expanding by 54 percent to $47.2m. Similarly, the number of commercial completions firmed by 2.8 percent to 35, with the value substantially higher at $58.3m. However, the public sector registered no completions."

Comments

TheMadHatter 9 months ago

Notice that nowhere here is listed EVEN ONE payment to the IMF or IDB of a red cent that we owe them. Yet we are paying 12 red cents all day long. So we still have to ask (or should i say beg?) "Where the VAT money gone?" Just like we asked (begged) under the PLP.

1

TalRussell 9 months ago

$8 BILLION must calculates likes $45,714 every breathing comrade man's woman's and children 'citizen' living we Bahamaland.... mostly owing reckless continuation climbing colony islands debt thanks Imperial red shirts 35 House MP's..... each equally guilty voting passing all money bills on floor House.

0

sheeprunner12 9 months ago

This probably does not include the $2 Billion in public service pensions and retirement benefits.

So can the Government be transparent about WHAT is really included in this $8 Billion????

0

TalRussell 9 months ago

Bahamaland has but maximum comrade 'legal citizenry population' 175,000 breathing man's, woman's and children's....... rather than each soul responsible $45,714 as their share repay $8 BILLION debt rungs up by they various governments - they should be debt free.

0

Damifiknow 9 months ago

Hey hey Ho Ho let’s go buy us a hotel ! Yo!

0

BahamaPundit 9 months ago

It seems the only way to change Bahamian politics is ta kill ya self. Cuz no matter how hard we try, WE MARCH, beg, scream, pray on bleeding knees, as soon as we change one party for the next, one leader for the next, that party or leader turns 360 degrees from the transparency they promised and becomes just as corrupt and hard headed as the ones they replaced. I am not a quitter, but the thick headed, thick lipped, thick heeled leaders we have here aren't worth spending a day in the seventy years promised to man thinking about. These are worthless, nothings. Scumbags. Detritus. The lowest of the low.

0

BahamaPundit 9 months ago

If you want to see corruption in action, just look at the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The FNM have delayed it coming into force until July 2019, so they have plenty of time to do their dark deeds, let alone the hotel slush fund they purchased to use as a vehicle to transfer our VAT funds to cronies. These people are unreal!!!

1

bogart 9 months ago

..@Pundit....love ya stuff...dont raise yer pressure.....the ministries are run by the ps and immovable nomenklatura...set of govt bureaucrats who run da shop ....who should be duty bound ....qualified....highly intelligent....fiduviary responsibilities to da nation.....to ahem...say boss we on da treacheroud....shoals....!!!!...no mind...some should actually go to jail knowing fully well the hospital rin out of beds but nevermind building big time chinics .....or building baseball stadium...while patients waiting for help .....Pore people jus plain tired paying taxes for mistakes they approve for the bosses ....an...an...an.....moretaxes to clean up dere first set of financial approved mistakes....difficult to gets anyting new if dey keeps reinventing the square year sfter year..... Taxpayers should not be paying dese people salaries working agaknst them by talking outta both sides dere mouts nomatter who buys the shop.

0

DDK 9 months ago

So what do we do about it???? These people just don't know when to quit. Look at a big country like Argentina grovelling at the feet of the IMF.

0

killemwitdakno 9 months ago

@Madhatter IMF dictates what the government has to charge to then be loaned certain amounts "stabilized".

IMF never wants a penny back because that defeats the purpose of full dependency and endless debt until they have complete power to crash your economy in a day like Greece. It's demolition of competing currencies to dictate the value of a dollar and whos dollar for zero barriers to their "trade" aka pillaging free stuff.

0

Sign in to comment