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Jason Hayward: economy has ‘exceeded’ pre-pandemic levels

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Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The island’s economy continues to expand and has topped pre-pandemic levels, Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour, said yesterday.

Mr Hayward said: “The growth that we see now is exceeding the level of economic performance or economic activity that we would have experienced in 2019.”

Asked about grey areas of the economy in need of attention, Mr Hayward said it was “difficult to identify” a problem area.

He said there were sectors “in which there is opportunity where we can continue to expand economic activity, and those are the areas that we have identified in the economic development strategy”.

He cited three main growth areas of the economy: international business, local financial insurance and the real estate.

Mr Hayward added: “We have seen a rebound in terms of hospitality, not to pre-pandemic levels but growth rate moving out of the pandemic slums.

“So we are trying to provide robust economic expansion throughout multiple industrial sectors within the economy as pertains to the items that we have identified in the economic development strategy that we will focus on over the next year.”

In an overview of economic performance during the third quarter of 2023, Mr Hayward said the numbers showed the island’s economy continuing to strengthen.

“There was economic growth in the first second and third quarters of 2023, which means that the growth is real growth over the 2022 numbers, indicating that the economy continues to expand.”

He said it proved that “the economy is robust, it proves that we are trending in the right direction”.

Mr Hayward noted that in the 2022 Gross Domestic Product, the domestic economy showed growth.

“So there is growth happening outside of international business,” he said.

“The third quarter’s GDP estimates signifies three quarters of strong economic performance in 2023 for the Bermudian economy.”

He said that during the third quarter last year, 314 local businesses were created, bringing the island’s complete business register to 16,307.

The third quarter showed a 7.1 per cent growth above the 2022 figures.

The increase came from the international business, banking insurance, hospitality, construction, transportation and insurance and real estate sectors.

In the tourism, 61,451 air visitors arrived on the island during the third quarter last year, an increase of 9,386 over the same period in 2022.

Mr Hayward added: “Estimated expenditure by air visitors increased to $111.5 million from $75.3 million recorded in the third quarter of 2022,”

“The third-quarter economic performance highlights that Bermuda’s economy continues to strengthen.

“The Government will continue to facilitate the expansion and sustainability of Bermuda's economy by creating a business environment that allows businesses to thrive.”

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Published April 17, 2024 at 7:50 am (Updated April 17, 2024 at 7:13 am)

Jason Hayward: economy has ‘exceeded’ pre-pandemic levels

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