Minister: Data Shows Rise In Economic Activity

August 7, 2015

[Updated with video] Data prepared by the Department of Statistics “highlights a rise in economic activity, as measured by the GDP, both in nominal and real terms during the first quarter of 2015,” Minister of Finance Bob Richards said today.

Minister Richards said, “I am pleased to release the first of an ongoing series of quarterly reports on Gross Domestic Product [GDP], which measures overall economic activity.

“As Minister of Finance, I have been concerned that Bermudians have been forced to interpret, from time to time, economic data and the results of some surveys and opinion polls masquerading as economic data.

“One of my main concerns is that the public, the press and the politically opinionated, reflect on information that is sometimes so outdated that its value in assisting us to understand our present day circumstances and our future prospects is very limited indeed.

“For example, we can have data that can be almost a year old that are framed in the context as though they were today’s status quo. The Bermudian public may draw the wrong conclusions under such circumstances. I am happy to report more current data that has been prepared by the Department of Statistics.

“It highlights a rise in economic activity, as measured by the GDP, both in nominal and real terms during the first quarter of 2015.

Chart extracted from the report:

Fullscreen capture 872015 125700 PM

“Compared to the first quarter 2014 GDP grew by 3.7 per cent in nominal terms and 2.2%, adjusted for inflation. This is good news and clearly indicative of the fact that the economy is growing, and the latest evidence of an improved economic outlook. Our efforts to stimulate investor interest in Bermuda are continuing to bear fruit, providing increased prospects for the future.

“But we are not standing still. The government intends to continue to pursue policies and projects that stimulate the economy. We believe this is the correct strategy to ensure substantial improvements in tangible opportunities for Bermudian entrepreneurs, companies and employees.

“There is a growing confidence in Bermuda’s economy and its future, a confidence that is shining through the oppressive gloom of negative political rhetoric.

“We will need that enthusiasm and optimism as we continue our road back toward a balanced budget through fiscal prudence. This new data, read together with other economic figures recently released, is good reason for renewed optimism after years of challenges.

“Just days ago, you heard from the Quarterly Bulletin of Statistics that central government revenue is up. And in the face of much pressure, efforts continue throughout government to control public spending.

“For the same period, across the island, employment income grew and total expenditure by air visitors was nearly 20 per cent higher [19.3%] year-over-year. The number of new business registrations is also up for the quarter.

“In hotels, employment numbers rose and gross receipts, money paid to hoteliers, was also marginally up. And last month, the Government released statistics which showed that the value of retail sales grew for nine consecutive months through the month of May. And to the end of April, the volume of retail sales grew for five consecutive months.

“These too, are all indications of optimism. But we should caution that there still is a long road ahead. The Government remains focused on creating the investment environment that will bring long term job opportunities for all Bermudians, across the employment spectrum. Let us not forget that before there is a new job you must have an employer, and before there is an employer there must be investment.

“That’s why we are focused on increasing investment in our island. And we remain joined to the battle of gaining control of runaway spending without harsh and draconian austerity measures that would bring more hardship to the community.

“Boosting public revenues and controlling public spending will lead us to a more balanced approach of living within our means. And ultimately that will provide the environment needed to begin whittling away at the country’s debt.”

The full Quarterly GDP Report follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (32)

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  1. swing voter says:

    so we’re positive now? Okay uncle Bob, keep it going north and we str8 in 2017 ;-)

    • Where does Fuzziness come in ?

      • Maddog says:

        All you fools…all he is do is cutting jobs so it looks like we are doing well..but the burden is falling on the less fortunate ones to do more work.. For those he has lay off!!!

        • And he did state not too long ago that he doesn’t TRUST stats.
          Leave it to SpoongeBob.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          Minister Richards has done more to protect the jobs of the CS than their own unions, and if the results were indicative of lay offs, then you would see a decrease in the government expenditures, but what we are seeing is an increase in the government revenues. While so many focus on the unemployment or job loss numbers, what I want to know is has there been an increase in jobs, course, for those complaining there are no jobs out there, check the jobs board, they have 131 currently listed.

  2. Suggestion Box says:

    Very positive. Hopefully everyone will see that but we know that will not be the case. Another gentle reminder, if Bermuda is turned around and successful, we all will benefit.

  3. Look at it anyway you want, but fact remain… “Compared to the first quarter 2014 GDP grew by 3.7 per cent in nominal terms and 2.2%, adjusted for inflation. This is good news and clearly indicative of the fact that the economy is growing, and the latest evidence of an improved economic outlook. Our efforts to stimulate investor interest in Bermuda are continuing to bear fruit, providing increased prospects for the future.”

  4. SMH says:

    Great news for us all. A rising tide raises all boats.

  5. Coffee says:

    World wide trend ! Period ! Nothing unusual . It would be unusual IF the tide didn’t raise our boat ! I’ll tell you what I’ve come to understand about ya boy Bob , see, Bob will blame the opposition for everything that has a negative effect on his party , but take big credit for a worldwide economic recovery .

    • Politricks says:

      Well then I guess you guys should stop blaming the OBA for job losses then as it is a worldwide trend. And you should also then refrain for praising the PLP for any growth achieved during their reign.

      But in all seriousness it isn’t a worldwide trend as none of our major trading partners or comparable peers experienced 6 years of negative GDP. Not one.

      All dipped into a temporary recession for no longer than a few quarters and not the approximate 24 or so that BDA did. All that exemplifies is that our recession (depression?) was primarily self inflicted.

      But either way everyone in BDA should be happy with these turn of events. Even if you can’t bring yourself to acknowledge that the govt has some part to do with it.

      Carry on.

      • Politricks says:

        *but in all seriousness our experience wasn’t a worldwide trend…

        • @ Politricks; You are soooo right, “your own fleas bite the hardest.” But, try telling that to them who choose to be led by the nose :-(

    • Zevon says:

      The worldwide trend didn’t help us in 2009, 2010, 2011, or 2012, for some reason.

    • SMH says:

      What a predictable joke you are Coffee. We’re finally bringing back investor confidence. That’s reason to celebrate.

    • Navin Johnson says:

      Coffe what were you saying when the world was going up and we were going down under your government?

    • aceboy says:

      If the PLP were still in power we’d be sunk by now. SUNK.

      The economic recovery worldwide took place in 2010. At least TRY and keep up.

    • hmmm says:

      Who are you Coffee

      Your posts don’t help the PLP. You do realize that don’t you !

      • Coffee says:

        Did I mention that at least 40 more jobs will be lost under the OBA by months end ? And that’s with a rising economy !

  6. Triangle Drifter says:

    Oh Sheesh…more bad news. Stand by, Alaska Hall might have a response for the 7 o’clock news. They are a tad busy with another matter today.

    • Greenie says:

      You mean Marc Bean’s trial for allegedly saying vile misogynistic ranting at a recent polling station that’s actually happening right now? I’m so shocked that that wasn’t all over the news and radio this week because if the tables were reversed………………

  7. Alvin Williams says:

    OBA government statistics praise from those who benefit from the numbers; but in the eyes of the unemployed youth and those of the elderly who after receiving their pensions only have $ 19 to live on? ‘LIES AND DAMN LIES.’

    • Zevon says:

      So you support the new jobs that the airport will bring then. Finally.

  8. how you doin says:

    This doesn’t help the people who are not working and trying to find jobs.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Actually it does. A continuation of the trend will signify an increase in jobs in the market in response to an increase in available monies to flow into the market. Bit by bit, more money flowing into the market increases the jobs required to handle the demand that money creates and as more jobs are created, more money then flows into the market, again increasing jobs. The important thing is to continue to attract more foreign money into our market, so as to increase the monies available to the employment pool, that can then spend more money into the market again. Course, we are also our own worst enemy, we have a bad habit of taking that money and spending it in other markets as well, and I am not talking about vacation monies, but on shopping trips. Just need to see a Bermudian coming back from a weekend trip with extra baggage to know that.

      • Well if you go online and see an item that cost $100.00 and see it in Bermuda for $500.00………………….

        • Onion says:

          Then you’ve just found a business opportunity.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          Then you add duty and shipping, and well, you still might pay less, but that $500 keeps Bermudians employed. The $100 keep someone else employed overseas.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          So what you are saying is that you like to rant about Bermudians first, but your not willing to make the extra expense that is required to prove it.

  9. ohno says:

    He this is great news…and you know here is some better news. The UBP will win the next election and RUIN IT ALL….AGAIN

  10. bluebird says:

    And the PLP/BIU did not leave us $2Billion dollar DEBT that we cannot afford to pay off.

  11. Why is it…when you just start liking a fellow.. They get lofty as ship?

  12. You do realise you are our employee?

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