GDP Q4 2018
Furbert: We need new jobs
Bermuda’s economy is not in an ideal spot, the Minister for the Cabinet Officer said yesterday.
Wayne Furbert said: “It’s not where we want it to be.”
But he added: “Where we want it to go is where we are heading.”
Mr Furbert said that for economic growth “we need new jobs here”.
He added: “So that’s where the Government is focusing on.”
Mr Furbert said that there were many Bermudians “who are still hurting”.
He added: “We understand that, and that’s why we continue to push and meet and discuss future or current policy that we can implement to make things better for Bermudians overall.”
Mr Furbert was speaking as he provided details on statistics from the fourth quarter of 2018.
He said: “I am happy to report that the fourth quarter Gross Domestic Product in constant prices indicates that our economy has experienced a third-straight quarter of positive growth.
“Our 2018 fourth quarter GDP increased year-over-year by 1.5 per cent to $1.15 billion.”
He said that the growth was driven mostly by an increase in the net surplus on trade in goods and services, which increased by 24.8 per cent — or $30.4 million.
Mr Furbert added that gross capital formation — “which reflects investment in construction and machinery and equipment” — increased by 1.5 per cent.
He said that inflation was down 0.2 per cent from 1.3 per cent in January to 1.1 per cent in February.
Mr Furbert added: “The lower inflation rate is good for households as the rise in the cost of consumer goods and services slow in comparison to January 2019.”
He said: “As I indicated last week, in spite of the empty criticism from some, overall, this Government is making progress by implementing policies that stimulate our economy. “Our economic progress translates into good news for Bermuda.”
Mr Furbert pointed to a “stimulant package” put in place by the Government last year which provided a three-year tax break to employers that brought businesses to Bermuda.
He said: “I can report that number for individuals is up over the last year — and that’s where the stimulation takes place.
“They buy goods and services, and so that’s what has helped, I believe, to impact the economy.”
He also pointed to the “EU substance policies, as far as the legislation being put in place”.
Mr Furbert said: “I believe that legislation will have an impact on Bermuda.
“We are waiting to hear the results — but once it takes effect, I believe that the growth in Bermuda will be much larger.”
• For our article about the GDP rise, visit: http://www.royalgazette.com/business/article/20190509/bermudas-real-gdp-rises-15</i>