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Review Of The Economy 2013 : Sustaining Growth, Securing Prosperity
The recovery of the Trinidad and Tobago economy is expected to be further consolidated with growth of 1.6 percent in 2013, following on an overall growth of 1.2 percent in 2012.
The recovery is expected to gain momentum across a widening range of economic sub-sectors resulting in an overall growth rate of 2.5 percent in the non-petroleum sector for 2013. The brighter outlook for the non-petroleum sector is premised on a projected 2.6 percent expansion in the services sub-sector, which, with 84.2 percent, is the largest contributor to non-petroleum GDP. After three (3) successive years of decline from 2009 to 2011, the recovery in 2012 is expected to be further consolidated in 2013. The services sub-sector is also expected to exhibit continued strengthening.
Overall, energy sector output is expected to grow by a modest 0.5 percent in 2013, representing an improvement on the contractions experienced in 2011 and 2012. The performance of GDP at the sub-sector level is expected to be mixed, reflecting an incipient turnaround in natural gas refining, exploration and production, as well as the growth momentum carried forward by service contractors, which are tempered by a milder contraction in petrochemicals.
Headline inflation on a year-on-year basis, for the first six months of 2013 remained relatively moderate, settling at 6.8 percent in June 2013. This outturn reflected the general downward trend in price levels, following a 30-month high of 12.6 percent in May 2012. Similarly, Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages inflation eased somewhat from 13.8 percent in January to 12.6 percent in June 2013. Core inflation remained relatively stable, settling at 2.2 percent in June 2013.
The rate of unemployment in Trinidad and Tobago fell to 4.9 percent in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 from 5.4 percent in the second quarter. Most industries, with the exception of the Construction and Petroleum and Gas industries, registered unemployment rates below the national average.
The overall deficit on Central Government Operations for fiscal 2013 is estimated at $6,485.4 million or 4.0 percent of GDP, compared to an overall deficit of 2.3 percent of GDP for fiscal 2012. Total Revenue and Grants is estimated at $52,984.8 million or 32.6 percent of GDP, of which Tax Revenue is expected to be the major component, contributing $45,150.6 million. Capital Revenue, however, is estimated to increase by more than ten-fold over the receipts of fiscal 2012. Total Expenditure and Net Lending is estimated at $59,470.2 million or 36.6 percent of GDP, approximately the same proportion of GDP as fiscal 2012.