You are here
2013 Macro Monitor & Outlook 2014
St. Maarten’s economic outlook for 2014 is of a positive growth. Preliminary projections on key economic indicators are; real GDP growth of 1.4 percent, inflation to decrease to 1.9 percent, cruise arrival to increase 1.2 percent, stay over arrivals to increase 1.1 percent.
The Department of Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (EVT) produce on a quarterly basis the Macro Monitor. This publication of the year end Macro Monitor provides an overview of the macro-economic developments of St. Maarten in 2013 and economic outlook for 2014.
A brief overview of the preliminary estimates on key indicators for 2013 includes; GDP growth with an estimated 1.1 percent growth. This growth was propelled by increased activity in the external sector, namely; cruise and stay over industry, added with the increased activity in the construction industry by both the private and public sector.
Cruise tourism increased 1.9 percent when compared to 2012; this increase was notable in the last quarter with its spike in arrivals; while stay-over arrivals increased 2.3 percent due to increased chartered flights from the Canada and Ecuador via Trinidad and Tobago. Combined Occupancy (Hotel and Timeshare) for the entire year 2013 was recorded at 69 percent compared to 63.3 percent for 2012. This represents an increase of 5.7 percent.
The factors responsible for such increase in 2013 are; the increase and hosting of well-known activities, namely; the Heineken Regatta and the Video X Games, which drew a number of persons to the island and increased all inclusive promotional packages offered by hotels during the year 2013.
Inflation recorded a decrease to 2.5 percent for 2013 down from 4.0 percent in 2012. This decrease is substantiated with the dropping prices of both oil and food on the world market. Other indicators include: exports increasing by 1.0 percent totaling Naf 2.1 billion. On the other hand, imports also increased 1.3 percent totaling Naf 1.9 billion. A trade surplus is estimated for 2013, since the nominal value of exports is estimated higher than imports, as have been the experience over the last three years.
For the period January to December, Government revenues amounted to an estimated Naf 422.0 million which is a 6.4 percent decrease compared to the Naf 450.9 million collected during the same period for 2012. This excess in revenues in 2012, was due to the release provision of provision amounting to Naf 39.9 and release of other payables amounting to Naf 6.7 million. These amounts were considered as other revenues from businesses for 2012. Also should be noted, is that the revenues collected for 2013 includes concession of Naf 10 million that relates to the years 2015 and 2016.
With expenditures, this also decreased by 1.7 percent when comparing the same period. Total expenditures were Naf 426.9 million in 2013 compared to 434.3 million in 2012. Analysis of the financial developments for 2013 indicates that there was a fiscal deficit of Naf 4.9 million, since the expenditures were more than the revenues. The gap in expenditures was financed through the use of banking reserves of the government.
Analysis of the International Sector and the various regions showed signs of growth and recovery for 2013. The economic performance of these regions was also compared to their arrival performance to St. Maarten. These include the U.S. which had an estimated GDP growth of 1.8 percent, had increased arrivals to St. Maarten by 4.9 percent. The Caribbean region which had an average 2 percent growth in 2013 presented arrivals increase to St. Maarten of 2.7 percent. The South American region presented an average 3.7 percent GDP growth and arrivals to St. Maarten with 1.2 percent growth for 2013. Markets faced with economic woes for the year 2013 were Europe that had a 0.6 percent average GDP growth and the Rest of the World. Both these markets had decreasing numbers with regards to arrivals to St. Maarten. Europe decreased 1.1 percent and Rest of the World deceased 8.1 percent in arrivals to St. Maarten for 2013.
Based on the department’s research and analysis of the various economic developments within the region and on an international level, St. Maarten’s economic outlook for 2014 is of a positive growth. Preliminary projections on key economic indicators are; real GDP growth of 1.4 percent, inflation to decrease to 1.9 percent, cruise arrival to increase 1.2 percent, stay over arrivals to increase 1.1 percent. The increase in growth and the tourism developments are attributed to the projected growth in the U.S. economy and other markets taking into consideration the U.S. is St. Maarten’s leading contributor of an average 62 percent towards St. Maarten’s stay over tourism. With the projected growth in the U.S., we are assuming s trickle-down effect on St. Maarten’s economy, added with the projected growth from other economies. The projected decrease in inflation is attributed to continued drop in the world oil and food prices. From the trade sector, exports are projected to grow 1.4 percent, while imports are also projected to grow 1.1 percent for 2014. With this development there is a projected trade surplus for 2014 likewise. Once again EVT would like to reiterate that the estimated forecasting figures are preliminary since they are derived from the economic developments of the various sectors during each quarter.