Economy grew 3.7% in first half of 2018

| 13/02/2019 | 4 Comments

Cayman Islands GDP(CNS): The Economics and Statistics Office has published the half-year report for the first six months of last year, which confirms that the Cayman Islands economy was heating up during the period, with gross domestic product estimated to have grown by 3.7%. All major sectors grew, fuelled by a strong increase in visitors and financial services registration. Stock exchange listings also rose by 37.7% to register the highest level for ten years. Meanwhile, government made a surplus of CI$178.1 million in the six-month period as revenue grew by $43.8 million, outweighing the rise in expenditure of $10.9 million.

Public debt fell last year to $431.5 million when compared to the position of $466.5 million in the first half of 2017.

The figures, however, point to an average inflation of a whopping 4%, which has persisted and, as reported by CNS on Monday, continues to cause real hardship as prices increase much more rapidly than wages and impact those on fixed incomes disproportionately. Despite the increase in prices, Caymanians continued to import goods, with the value of merchandise increasing in the first half of last year by 12% to $502.2 million.

Overall unemployment fell during the same period to its lowest level since 2007 at 3.4%, according to the report, and the jobless rate for Caymanians also fell by 2% from 7.3% in the first half of 2017 to 5.3% in the same period of 2018. But work permits reached their highest level since 2009.

Based on data from immigration, by the end of June last year 25,570 permits had been issued compared to 24,724 at the end of June 2017. That was also a big increase on the previous quarter in 2018 of over 5%. Central government also took on slightly more people, as there were 3,893 workers on its payroll at the end of June 2018 compared to 3,749 at the same time in 2017, and the majority of new civil servants were Caymanian, who now make up 72.6% of core government staff.

Fewer people lost their homes in the first half of 2018 compared to the previous year. CIMA recorded 145 properties in the local commercial banks’ foreclosure inventory valued at US$42.6 million, compared to the 174 properties valued at US$48.6 million in 2017.

The local prime lending rate increased to 4.88% as at June 2018, adding upward pressure on the KYD weighted average lending rate, which was up at 7.87%. But savers barely saw much of an improvement on their interest rates, which inched up to just 0.31%.

See the full report on the ESO website

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Category: Economy, Politics

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Can the work permits come down then please – since there is no need for the gouging carried over from the recession.

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. Anonymous says:

    Great news for oligarchs and fronters alike. The rest of us are just screwed.

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