GDP Growth in First Nine Months of 2018 Estimated at 3.6%
Robust growth in several indicators supported solid economic growth in the first nine months of 2018. Economic activity in the Cayman Islands as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP) in real terms is estimated to have grown by 3.6% in the review period.
The strong economic performance was contributed by all major sectors with the highest growth rates indicated for hotels and restaurants (11.5%), construction (6.9%), transport, storage and communication (6.5%) and business activities mainly legal and accounting services (4.5%).
A strong increase in tourist arrivals and financial services registration facilitated the robust growth for the first nine months. Stay over tourist arrivals increased by 12.2% while new company and new partnership registrations increased by 34.5% and 35.0%, respectively. Similarly, listings on the stock exchange rose by 39.9%.
Coinciding with the strong GDP growth, the central government recorded an overall surplus of CI$151.2 million in the first nine months of 2018. This resulted as growth in revenue of $60.9 million outweighed a rise in expenditure of $24.3 million. The increase in revenue was generated mainly from domestic taxes on goods and services, led by financial service fees. The rise in expenditure was traced to increases in current expenses such as compensation of employees which rose by 7.0%.
The central government’s outstanding debt fell anew and settled at $428.9 million as at September 2018, lower than the $464.0 million recorded as at September 2017.