FINANCIAL Secretary Simon Wilson.
By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
AFTER a report showing an increase in local inflation, Financial Secretary Simon Wilson said he has faith that the current measures in place will relieve the burden.
Mr Wilson said officials do not see inflation rising above five percent on an annual basis. He spoke to reporters at the sidelines of the launch of the GoBoneFire eProcurement platform yesterday.
“I think the first thing is I have faith that the measures in place will relieve (the) burden. So inflation, we see inflation being elevated. And in comparison to the last 10 years, because of global factors, but we don’t see it at a high level. So we don’t see inflation rising above five percent on an annual basis,” he said.
Asked what he would say to consumers, he noted: “I think overall price level, we expect it to rise, because we import inflation. So we expect it to rise, but we don’t expect it to be a dramatic rise because we have a very good fiscal policy. So we don’t generate a lot of the government deficits going down. So we know the money supply is not expanding rapidly.”
Mr Wilson said despite concerns from some, officials do not expect huge inflation in construction materials.
“I don’t think the numbers demonstrate that is true.
“What we see inflation in terms of in the price level, obviously, on fuel costs, which will translate into energy costs.
“We see inflation in food costs, but we have not seen a dramatic increase in inflation in construction materials - plus, if you remember, during the budget, we reduced a whole range of building materials that are duty free.
“So immediately, there was a decrease in the price level.”
This comes after Bahamian contractors warned it is “inevitable” that Florida’s post-Hurricane Ian reconstruction will hit building material prices and availability here as local inflation was revealed to have hit seven percent.
Leonard Sands, the Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA) president, told Tribune Business that much will depend on the extent of the Category Four storm’s devastating impact plus the nature and scale of rebuilding in the so-called “Sunshine State”.
While it was currently impossible to forecast the precise impact for Bahamian construction costs, he acknowledged that Ian’s fall-out could fuel further increases in building material prices that have otherwise “plateaued” and been relatively stable since mid- March following hikes induced by post-COVID supply chain shocks and US housing demand.
The threat of renewed building material supplies price increases, sparked by Florida’s reconstruction demands and associated product shortages as the state sucks up a large portion of available supplies, emerged just as the Bahamas National Statistical Institute revealed this nation’s inflation rate hit seven percent for the 12 months to end-July 2022.