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CFAL Local Economic Review Q4 2023

24 January, 2024

The Bahamas continues to face headwinds including relatively high inflation and slowing global growth. However, the positive effects of the post-pandemic rebound in the tourism industry and overall economy can be seen in the most recent economic data. Preliminary data for the twelve months of FY2022/23 (July – June) indicates that the fiscal deficit declined by $183.9M (25.6%) to $533.5M compared to the same period of FY2021/22. The Bahamas National Statistical Institute estimates that GDP increased by 8.6% for the first half of 2023 and 3.8% for the quarter ending September. The IMF projects that real GDP will expand by 4.3% in 2023 and 1.8% in 2024. However, the country’s debt levels remain high as the national debt stood at $11.57B as at September 2023, comprising of Direct Charge of $11.21B and Contingent Liabilities of $358.4M. National Debt to GDP stood at 80.1% while Direct Charge to GDP stood at 80.4%. The tourism industry recorded significant growth for the first nine months of the year, recording tourist arrivals of 7.21M, representing a 50.40% increase from the same period in 2022. The local stock market, BISX, ended the quarter and year with positive gains of 6.14% and 7.81% respectively. 2023’s increase came in lower than 2022’s double-digit gains of 18.71% however.