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

Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) December 2023

Published: Monday January 29th, 2024

Domestic Economic Developments


During the month of December, preliminary indications are that the domestic economy’s growth momentum persisted, albeit at a moderated pace, as economic indicators converged closer to their expected medium-term trajectory. Tourism output remained buoyant, undergirded by robust gains in both the high value-added air traffic and sea passengers, reflective of the ongoing demand for travel in key source markets. With regard to prices, average consumer price inflation—as measured by changes in the average Retail Price Index (RPI) for The Bahamas—moderated during the twelve months to October, 2023 reflective of a slowdown in the rise in international oil prices, vis-à-vis the same period the year prior. In monetary developments, banking sector liquidity contracted, explained by a deceleration in the growth in the deposit base, which contrasted with the reduction in domestic credit. Likewise, during the review month, external reserves declined, owing primarily to a rise in net foreign currency outflows through the public sector.

Real Sector


Tourism output further strengthened during the review period, reflecting gains in both the high-value air component and sea traffic, on account of the ongoing demand for travel in the major source markets.

The most recent data provided by the Nassau Airport Development Company Limited (NAD) indicated that total departures in December—net of domestic passengers—increased by 12.9% to 0.14 million, compared to the same period last year. Notably, U.S. departures grew by 12.6% to 0.12 million visitors, while non-U.S departures advanced by 14.2% to 0.02 million, relative to the previous year. On an annual basis, total outbound traffic expanded by 22.9% to approximately 1.6 million passengers. In particular, U.S. departures rose by 23.0% to 1.38 million visitors, vis-a-vis the same period in 2022. Likewise, non-U.S. departures trended upward by 21.7% to 0.22 million visitors, relative to the comparative period last year.

In the short-term vacation rental market, however, provisional data provided by AirDNA showed that in December, total room nights sold fell by 4.4% to 163,172 from 170,701 in December 2022. Underpinning this outturn, the occupancy rates for both entire place and hotel comparable listings reduced to 50.1% and 50.3%, respectively, when compared to 59.6% and 58.1% in the previous year. Similarly, price indicators revealed that year-over-year, the average daily room rate (ADR) for entire place listings decreased by 3.5% to $536.69. In a slight offset, the ADR for hotel comparable listings increased by 2.5% to $192.49.

For the full year, total room nights sold grew by 23.8%, reflective of a 28.5% growth in hotel comparable bookings and a 23.3% gain in entire place bookings. Further, the ADR for respective entire place and hotel comparable listings rose by 6.8% and by 4.7%. In addition, occupancy rates for hotel comparable listing and entire place listings improved by 7.7% and by 6.0%, respectively.


Average domestic consumer price inflation—as measured by the All Bahamas Retail Price Index—moderated to 3.7% during the twelve months to October, from 5.4% in the comparative 2022 period. This partly due to a slowdown in the rise in global oil prices, relative to the same period a year earlier. Notably, the average prices for transportation declined sharply to 2.0% and for communication, to 0.9%, after posting respective gains of 14.7% and 9.6% in the prior year. Further, average inflation softened for food and non-alcoholic beverages (7.2%); restaurants and hotels (5.8%); clothing and footwear (2.6%); and education (1.8%). Providing some offset, average inflation quickened for recreation and culture (11.2%); alcohol beverages, tobacco, & narcotics (8.1%); health (6.4%); housing, water, gas, electricity, & other fuels (5.1%); and furnishing, household equipment, & routine household maintenance (4.9%). In addition, average prices for miscellaneous goods & services firmed to 2.1%, following a 1.0% decrease a year earlier.



For full text reading, please download the attached document.