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Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) December 2022

Published: Monday January 30th, 2023

Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD)

December 2022


Domestic Economic Developments


Indications are that during the month of December, the domestic economy sustained its recovery trajectory, from the negative effects of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Tourism output continued to register strong growth, undergirded by gains in the high value-added air segment and the rebound in sea traffic, as pandemic restrictions eased and the demand for travel increased in the key source markets. Monetary sector developments featured a contraction in banking sector liquidity, with the buildup in the deposit base trailing the rise in domestic credit. Similarly, with the associated seasonal increase in demand for foreign currency and drawdown of the IMF Special Drawing Rights, external reserves declined during the review month.

Real Sector


Tourism sector output maintained its buoyant growth in December, poised to return to pre-pandemic levels, as globally imposed travel restrictions related to COVID-19 remained relaxed.

Official data provided by the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) showed that total passenger arrivals rose to 727,608 in November, from 393,004 visitors a year earlier. In particular, the dominant sea segment increased to 608,469 compared to 302,776 visitors in the corresponding 2021 period. Further, air traffic expanded to 119,139 from 90,228 a year earlier—exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels; representing 113.3% of air arrivals recorded in 2019.

A breakdown by major ports of entry indicated that, total arrivals to New Providence grew to 340,562 in November, from 184,204 in the preceding year. Contributing to this outturn, the air and sea segments both advanced to 93,510 and 247,052 visitors, respectively. Similarly, traffic to the Family Islands totalled 339,730 visitors, vis-à-vis 197,404 a year earlier, as air and sea visitors measured 22,651 and 317,079, respectively. Further, foreign arrivals to Grand Bahama amounted to 47,316 visitors, surpassing the 11,396 registered a year earlier, as the air and sea components increased to 2,978 and 44,338, respectively.

For the eleven months to November, total arrivals recovered to 6.1 million from 1.6 million in the comparative period of 2021, when a 9.1% reduction was registered. Air arrivals accelerated to 1.3 million passengers, augmenting the 97.8% recovery in the previous year, with increases across all major source markets. Likewise, sea arrivals grew to 4.8 million visitors, a reversal from a 39.4% decline in 2021.

The most recent data provided by the Nassau Airport Development Company Limited (NAD) revealed that, during the month of December, total departures—net of domestic passengers—expanded to 126,609 from 98,305 in the corresponding 2021 period. Comparatively, U.S. departures rose to 107,002 from 83,115 a year earlier. In addition, non-U.S. departures grew to 19,607 from 15,190 a year prior. On a year-to-date basis, total outbound traffic advanced to 1.3 million from 0.8 million passengers a year earlier, following an 80.0% gain in the comparative period last year. Further, U.S. departures recovered to 1.1 million visitors, extending the 99.2% growth in the comparative period of 2021. Similarly, non-U.S. departures increased to 0.2 million, a turnaround from the 13.7% falloff in the same month last year.

Positive trends were mirrored in the short-term vacation rental market. The latest data provided by AirDNA showed that in December, total room nights sold moved higher to 170,701 from 124,096 a year earlier. Reflective of this outturn, the occupancy rates for both entire place and hotel comparable listings firmed to 59.6% and 58.1%, respectively, relative to 52.4% and 49.3% in the corresponding period of 2021. Further, price indicators showed that year-over-year, the average daily room rate (ADR) for entire place rose by 9.4% to $556.18 and hotel comparable listings, by 3.7% to $187.78.

For all of 2022, total room nights sold rose to 48.5%, owing to gains in both entire place bookings (69.3%) and hotel comparable bookings (58.3%). Likewise, occupancy levels for entire place listing and hotel comparable listings improved by 13.0% and by 15.6%, respectively. Further, ADR for the respective hotel comparable and entire place listings firmed by 9.0% and by 8.4%.


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