Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) February 2022
Published: Monday April 4th, 2022
Domestic Economic Developments
During February, indications are that the domestic economy sustained its modest growth momentum, amid continued adjustments to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the emergence of new strains. Tourism output continued to strengthen, underpinned by further improvements in the high value-added air segment and the recovery in sea traffic, in further response to vaccination efforts and easing COVID19 conditions in major source markets. Monetary developments registered a build-up in bank liquidity, as the expansion in the deposit base outweighed the growth in domestic credit. Similarly, external reserves increased during the review month, reflective of the rise in net foreign currency inflows through the private sector.
Monthly data suggested that tourism maintained its growth trajectory, although with continuing travel sector caution, amid lingering pandemic conditions.
Provisional data from the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) showed that total visitor arrivals by first port of entry advanced to 312,201 in January, from just 23,619 in the comparative 2021 period. Leading this development, air arrivals increased to 71,908 from 20,792 in the previous year—restoring 55.4% of the passengers received in 2019. Sea traffic, also resumed at 240,293 vis-à-vis 2,827 visitors in the prior year.
Disaggregated by major market, total arrivals to New Providence strengthened to 162,654 in January from 13,236 same period last year. Underlying this outturn, the air and sea segments advanced to 53,629 and 109,025 passengers, respectively. Similarly, foreign arrivals to Grand Bahama rose to 9,768, from 1,052 a year earlier, with air and sea outcomes of 1,775 and 7,993, respectively. Likewise, traffic to the Family Islands recovered to 139,779 visitors, extending the volume of just 9,331 in the prior year, attributed to air and sea passenger intakes of 16,504 and 123,275, respectively.
The most recent data provided by the Nassau Airport Development Company Limited (NAD) showed that total departures—net of domestic passengers—grew to 80,276 in February, from 16,098 in the corresponding month of 2021. Specifically, U.S. departures moved higher to 69,653 from 15,058 in the prior year; while non-U.S. departures improved to 10,623 from 1,040 in the preceding year. On a year-to-date basis, outward-bound traffic expanded to 157,447 passengers, a recovery from the 86.0% decline same period last year, when borders remained closed to contain the spread of the virus. Reflecting this outturn, U.S. departures rose to 134,853 visitors, a turnaround from the 84.9% falloff a year earlier. Similarly, non-U.S. departures grew to 22,594, a reversal from the 91.3% decrease in 2021.
In the short-term vacation rental market, data provided by AirDNA for February revealed positive trends within the market. In particular, total room nights sold increased to 98,389 compared to 50,906 in the comparative 2021 period. In particular, occupancy rates for both entire place and hotel comparable listings rose to 55.2% and 50.7%, respectively, vis-à-vis 43.6% and 38.7% a year earlier. As depicted in Graph 1, price indicators strengthened year-over-year, as the average daily rate (ADR) for hotel comparable listings firmed by 15.1% to $181.36 and for entire place listings, by 8.3% to $486.90.
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