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Cayman sees positive growth in 2023

Front Pages 08 Apr, 2024 Follow News

Cayman sees positive growth in 2023

According to the latest report from the Economic and Statistics Office, Cayman’s economy expanded by an estimated 4.0% in the first nine months of 2023, with growth across almost all economic sectors for the period. This, despite the slowing down of growth of most economies anywhere else in the world during the same timeframe.

Cayman’s gross domestic product (GDP) - or the size of its economy - expanded by an estimated annualised rate  of 4.0% in the first three quarters of 2023, but so, too, did prices, with the average Consumer Price Index increasing by 3.9%, as all divisional indices except one grew for the period. Merchandise imports expanded by 0.5% to $1,112.1 million due to increases in non-oil imports as the value of oil imports declined.

Tourism drove the positive trend, with air arrivals rising by 78.8% to 323,028, and cruise visitors rising by 118.1% to 936,754.

As a result, the largest positive changes were seen in the hotels and restaurants sector, which grew by 26.4%. This supported growth of 6.7% and 7.7% in the transport storage and communication and the ‘other’ sector, respectively. The recovery in tourism-related activities, coupled with high temperatures in the summer, also boosted activities in the electricity and water supply sector by 9.9%. Electricity consumption increased by 8.4%, while water consumption rose by 12.3%.  The financial and insurance services sector, the largest contributor to GDP, grew by an estimated 3.1% for the first nine months of the year. In particular, bank and trust company licences decreased by 4.1% to 94, while insurance licences rose by 1.9% to 706. Mutual funds, including the category “master funds” fell by 0.1% to 13,008, but the number of listings on the Stock Exchange rose by 4.0% to 2,776, while market capitalisation increased by 13.7% to US$872.0 billion. New company registrations declined by 22.9% to 7,519, while new partnership registrations fell by 28.3% to 2,742.

To accommodate all this growth, Cayman saw work permits increase by 11.6% to 36,079, while public sector employment rose by 4.6% to 4,629.

One sector that did not do so well was real estate. No doubt as a result of increases in interest rates, the property market slowed right down in 2023. The value of building permits contracted by 28.0%, while the value of project approvals declined by 5.9%. Property transfers fell by 10.4% in value and by 12.0% in volume.

On a more positive note, government recorded an overall surplus of CI$72.3 million in the first three quarters of the year. This resulted from revenue of $846.1 million and expenditure of $773.7 million. Government’s outstanding debt decreased to $469.0 million as at September 2023, compared to $524.4 million recorded as at September 2022.

For more information on the “The Cayman Islands’ Third Quarter Economic Report 2023,” please visit www.eso.ky .

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