Friday, May 1, 2020

Government of Bahamas : Expenditure growth outpaces revenue as Dorian impact felt

Budget performance in the third quarter report was dominated by rebuilding efforts associated with Hurricane Dorian and, to a lesser extent, the initial impact of the government's policy response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The full impact of the public health crisis and economic shutdown is not expected to be seen fully until the fourth quarter report.

In the first nine-months, the fiscal deficit widened by an anticipated 79.3% to an estimated $251.5 million. Despite the temporary decline in business activity in the storm-affected islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, total revenue grew by $67.9 million to total $1,757.0 million. This increase, which represented 73.3% of the revised budget target, was bolstered by the high volume of cruise arrivals up to February 2020 that strengthened departure taxes by $5.6 million, or 5.4%.

However, given the significant expenditure on hurricane recovery and restoration and other spending priorities, total expenditure grew by $179.4 million, impacting the overall fiscal outcome for the budget period.  Read more >>