Our economy is growing – that’s a fact
The 2023 Standards & Poor’s Report indicated that it “expects the local economy to remain healthy, supporting government finances, limiting the need to increase gross debt, and supporting the territory’s external position [including current account surpluses]”.
I am pleased to see the findings of S&P’s analysis supported by the recently released economic update from the Minister of Economy and Labour.
We are all entitled to our opinion, but let us base our opinions on a common state of facts. Bermuda's economy grew by an estimated 3.6 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2023, after adjusting for inflation. This growth was driven by increased household spending and the export of goods and services.
Consumer spending also increased by 1.1 per cent year-over-year, to $760.7 million, in the first quarter, largely a result of increased expenditure on furniture and furnishings, motor vehicles and motorcycles.
Total business registration rose year-over-year in the first quarter of 2023, bringing the complete business register to 16,101 with 233 new businesses registered in Bermuda during the quarter.
We should all be encouraged to see employment income was 7.9 per cent above 2022 levels in the first quarter with noticeable increases in the following industries:
1, International business
2, Hotels and restaurants
3, Banking, insurance and real estate
4, Business services
5, Wholesale and retail
7, Transport and communication
It is no secret Bermuda’s tourism industry is still recovering from being battered by the pandemic and so I am proud to see that the Progressive Labour Party government’s policies and investments within the industry have resulted in the island hosting 24,667 air visitors in the first quarter of 2023, up from 12,280 in the first quarter of 2022.
That is more than double!
As politicians, we commonly hear remarks related to concerns over government spending. We are pleased to see consumption by the Government declined 3.2 per cent during the quarter, with lower expenditure on salaries, professional services and equipment.
As a government, the PLP recognises there is more work to be done; however, that should not stop us from acknowledging how far we have come. Overall, the facts demonstrate the first quarter of 2023 was positive for the local economy and we will continue to focus on fostering an economic environment that supports such growth.
• Jaché Adams is a government backbencher and the Member of Parliament for Pembroke West (Constituency 19)