January 24, 2014
Economy continues on upward growth path

Based on preliminary figures the Vincentian economy experienced a 2.0 per cent growth in 2013 with that number expected to further increase to 2.5 per cent in 2014.{{more}}

This follows on the 0.28 per cent growth in 2011 and 1.52 per cent in 2012 Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said.

During his budget presentation on Monday, Gonsalves said that the growth in the economy was fueled by construction, agriculture, fisheries and manufacturing; economic activity from tourism was mixed, however.

He explained that preliminary data had indicated that there was a 16.3 per cent increase in construction activity during the period January to September 2013 when compared to the previous year.

“Growth in value-added in the agricultural sector resulted from higher production of root crops, vegetables, bananas and livestock,” the Prime Minister said.

Similarly preliminary data show an improvement in fish landings – an 8.4 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2012 and a 16.6 per cent rise in the overall value.

In manufacturing Gonsalves explained, economic activity expanded with increases in output of flour (9.6 per cent), mill feed (11.8 per cent), animal feed (8.9 per cent) and beer (35.2 per cent).

While total tourist arrivals for the review period of January to September had increased by 2.5 per cent over the corresponding period, totaling 145,703 visitors compared to 142,122 in 2012, the performance of the various tourism subsectors was mixed.

There was a 7.7 per cent increase in sea arrivals and a 4.9 per cent decline in air he said.

So too while the data show increases in yacht visitors and cruise visitors, a 0.5 per cent and 12.8 per cent respectively, there were recorded declines in same-day arrivals (-4.6 per cent) and stay-over visitors (-4.9 per cent).

“The high cost of air travel and the slow economic recovery regionally and globally are the major reasons attributed for the decline of air arrivals,” Gonsalves said.

He said stay-over visitors accounted for the majority of visitors to the country. (DD)