IMF Mission Concludes Visit to the Bahamas

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Wednesday December 14, 2016 09:34
IMF--14 Dec--International Monetary Fund
  • Despite significant damage by Hurricane Matthew, growth is expected to resume next year, supported by construction activity and work toward completion of Baha Mar resort
  • Further fiscal consolidation, including more determined efforts to rationalize spending, remains critical for rebuilding fiscal and external buffers.
  • High unemployment and the high volume of non-performing loans continues to dampen private sector credit and economic activity
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Jarkko Turunen visited The Bahamas from December 7-13, 2016, to update the economic and financial outlook following Hurricane Matthew.
At the conclusion of the staff visit Mr. Turunen issued the following statement:

"A close-to-direct hit from category four Hurricane Matthew has caused significant damage to housing, businesses, and infrastructure, and is expected to have a negative impact on near-term growth, as well as on fiscal and external accounts. Real GDP growth is nevertheless expected to resume next year, supported by construction activity related to the repair of Hurricane damage and work towards completion of the Baha Mar resort. The Baha Mar resort is expected to provide an important boost to growth and employment over the next few years. However, structural impediments continue to constrain growth over the medium term.

"Preliminary data for the fiscal year ending in June 2016 suggests that the fiscal deficit declined to about 3.5 percent of GDP, down from 4.4 percent in the previous fiscal year. Although the current account deficit has declined, benefiting from lower oil prices, it remains at double-digits. Foreign reserves stood at US$913 million (end-September), equivalent to about 2.6 months of imports of goods and services. Altogether, modest fiscal and external buffers make the economy vulnerable to shocks, including natural disasters.

"Available indicators continue to point to a sound domestic banking system as a whole. However, together with high unemployment, the persistent overhang of non-performing loans (at more than 13 percent of total loans at end-September 2016) continues to dampen private sector credit and economic activity. While the loss of correspondent banking relationships by some domestic and international banks has not resulted in major disruptions so far, a further deterioration remains an important challenge to economic development and financial stability.

"Further fiscal consolidation, including more determined efforts to rationalize spending, remains critical for rebuilding fiscal and external buffers. To support stronger growth and job creation, policies should focus on implementing structural reforms to improve productivity and competitiveness and shoring up the economy's resilience to natural disasters. Steps to address financial sector challenges include policies aimed at increasing credit growth and responding to global "de-risking" trends.

"The mission met with the Honorable Michael Halkitis, Minister of State for Finance, Mr. John Rolle, Governor of the Central Bank of The Bahamas, other senior government officials and representatives of the private sector. The mission would like to thank the authorities and technical staff for their cooperation and hospitality."


Latest Press Release

Photo Release: KBank joins forces with Electronics Extreme for online gaming top-up via K-Payment Gateway

Mr. Akaranant Thitasirivit (third from right), KBank First Senior Vice President, and Mr. Thanin Piromward (third from left), Chief Executive Officer of Electronics Extreme Co., Ltd., Thailand's leading provider of online games including Ragnarok Online,...

Photo Release: EXIM Thailand Joins Berne Union Spring Meeting 2019

Mr. Pisit Serewiwattana (third right), President of Export-Import Bank of Thailand (EXIM Thailand) and EXIM Thailand's executives recently presented export direct lending and outlook for CLMV market as well as discussing various issues with more than 80...

Thanachart Bank posts strong first quarter profit growth

Thanachart Bank Public Company Limited reported net profit of 3,650 million baht for the three months ending 31 March 2019, with pre-tax earnings increasing 18.7% compared to the same period last year. Mr. Praphan Anupongongarch, CEO and President of...

Bangkok Bank reports first quarter 2019 net profit of Baht 9,028 million

Thailand's economic growth in 2019 is expected to be 3.8 percent, decreasing from 4.1 percent in 2018. Amid slower world trade and risks from the US trade policies, exports declined for the first two months of the year. This has squeezed manufacturing...

KASIKORNBANK announces the first quarter of 2019 net profit of Baht 10,044 Million

Mr. Predee Daochai, President of KASIKORNBANK, said although domestic economic activities continued to grow during the first quarter of 2019, the overall economic recovery remained weak on the back of the slowing growth in the export and tourism sectors...

Related Topics