For a better view on Central Bank of The Bahamas, Update Your Browser.

Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) April 2024

Published: Monday June 3rd, 2024

Domestic Economic Developments


During the month of April, indications are that the domestic economy’s growth trajectory persisted, albeit at a slower pace in comparison to the previous year. Economic performance indicators continued to converge closer to their expected medium-term potential. Tourism output remained buoyant, bolstered by healthy expenditure paced gains in the high value-added air traffic component and boosted sea passenger volumes, given sustained demand for travel in key source markets. In price developments, average consumer price inflation—as measured by changes in the average Retail Price Index (RPI) for The Bahamas—moderated during the 12 months to February 2024, reflective of a decrease in global oil prices, compared to the same period in the prior year. Monetary trends for the month of April were marked by a buildup in bank liquidity, despite the reduction in domestic credit trailing the falloff in the deposit base. Further, external reserves increased, largely attributed to net foreign currency inflows from the private sector.

Real Sector


Initial data revealed that the tourism sector continued to register healthy gains during the review month. This reflected expected expenditure paced strength in the high-value added air segment and expanded volume in the sea component, due to sustained demand for travel in key source markets and ongoing marketing efforts.

Official figures provided by the Ministry of Tourism indicated that total visitor arrivals rose to 0.91 million in April, compared to 0.87 million a year earlier. The dominant sea segment firmed to 0.75 million visitors, from 0.69 million passengers in the comparative 2023 period. However, the high value-added air component edged down to 0.16 million visitors, from 0.17 million in the prior year.

A disaggregation by major port of entry showed that total arrivals to New Providence expanded by 10.4% to 0.4 million visitors. Underlying this development, sea passengers grew by 18.5% to 0.3 million; however, air traffic declined by 7.0% to 0.1 million, from a year earlier.

Further, total arrivals to Grand Bahama rose by 1.5% to 47,108, relative to the previous year. Contributing to this outturn, arrivals by sea grew by 2.3% to 42,015, compared to 2023. Conversely, air traffic decline by 4.4% to 5,093, vis-à-vis the same period last year.

Providing some offset, total arrivals to the Family Islands decreased slightly by 0.4% to 0.4 million, vis-à-vis the preceding year, as sea and air passengers measured 377,190 and 33,931 respectively.

On a year-to-date basis, total arrivals strengthened by 12.4% to 3.9 million visitors, relative to the comparable 2023 period. Sea arrivals rose by 14.4% to 3.3 million, while air traffic held steady at 0.7 million.

The most recent statistics provided by the Nassau Airport Development Company Limited (NAD) indicated that total departures in April—net of domestic passengers—also decreased by 0.3% to 151,591, vis-à-vis the comparable 2023 period. Specifically, non-U.S. departures declined by 9.8% to 20,026. However, U.S. departures grew marginally by 1.3% to 131,565. On a year-to-date basis, total outbound traffic advanced by 8.0% to 596,086, on account of a rise in both U.S. departures, by 9.0% to 509,279, and non-U.S. departures, by 2.1% to 86,807.

In the short-term vacation rental market, data provided by AirDNA showed that in April, total room nights sold declined by 5.5%, to 53,588, when compared to the same period last year. Correspondingly, the occupancy rate for entire place listings reduced to 47.9% from 56.4% a year earlier, while the occupancy rate for hotel comparable listings decreased to 45.8%, from 53.5% in 2023. Meanwhile, price indicators revealed that the average daily room rate (ADR) for both entire place and hotel comparable listings moved higher by 3.8% and by 5.5% to $692.54 and $197.02, respectively.


Average consumer price inflation—as measured by the All Bahamas Retail Price Index—moderated to 2.5% during the twelve months to February, from 5.8% in the comparative period a year prior. Contributing to this outturn, the average costs for transport declined by 5.3% and for communications, by 4.1%, after posting respective gains of 10.2% and 5.0% a year earlier. Further, the average inflation slowed for recreation & culture (3.2%), food & non-alcoholic beverages (3.3%), restaurants and hotels (3.7%) and clothing and footwear (0.8%). In addition, the inflation rate for the dominant housing, water, gas, electricity & other fuels component remained relatively unchanged at 4.5%. In an offset, average inflation quickened for furnishing, household equipment, and routine household maintenance (6.7%) and for alcohol, beverages, tobacco, and narcotics (7.3%). Further, average prices rose for miscellaneous goods & services (3.4%), health (7.4%), and education (2.7%).


For full text reading, please download the attached document.