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Monthly Economic and Financial Developments, November 2007

Published: Monday December 31st, 2007

Partial indications suggest a moderate rate of economic expansion during the month of November, amid signs of an improving tourism outturn and stable construction activity. In the monetary sector, liquidity levels were comparatively more buoyant, whereas external reserves contracted, reflecting the seasonal firming in consumer demand and persistently higher payments for fuel imports.

Based on the latest tourism data, visitor arrivals for the third quarter increased by 1.7% to 1.0 million, in comparison to the corresponding period last year, benefiting from a 4.8% gain in air passengers and a modest 0.2% rise in sea visitors. The improvement was concentrated in the New Providence and Grand Bahama markets, which secured increases of 2.6% and 15.1% respectively. Conversely, a reduction in sea traffic to the Family Islands resulted in total visitors declining by 5.8%.

In the fiscal sector, the latest available data for the first quarter of FY2007/08 showed Government’s position reversing from a surplus of $3.6 million last year to a deficit of $50.7 million. Aggregate expenditure advanced by 6.5% to $344.4 million, while total revenue narrowed by 10.2% to $293.6 million, following last year’s extraordinary boost in tax revenue. Budgetary financing was primarily obtained from domestic sources, including a $100.0 million Registered Stock issue and a $28.0 million increase in Treasury bills outstanding.

Inflation during the twelve-months to November firmed to 2.45% from 1.74% in the corresponding period of 2006. The most significant higher average costs were recorded for furniture & household operation (4.85%), recreation entertainment & services (3.65%), food & beverages (3.56%) and transport & communication (3.40%).

For a complete copy of the MEFD November 2007, please go to Publications, Main Publications, Monthly Economic and Financial Developments.