Friday, March 20, 2020

$4.4bn Economic Blow: 'Playbook Out Window'

Finance Minister Peter Turnquest

By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

The coronavirus and Hurricane Dorian are threatening to deal The Bahamas an “unprecedented” $4.4bn blow, with the deputy prime minister revealing yesterday: “The playbook is out the window.”

K Peter Turnquest, speaking to Tribune Business after revealing that the COVID-19 outlook is “tilting” towards projections of a $1bn loss for the four months to end-June 2020, described the pandemic as “hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime event” that was impossible for government planners to anticipate.

Agreeing that The Bahamas had never before in its history experienced such economic and fiscal stress, Mr Turnquest said the Ministry of Finance remained confident that - for the moment - the government can handle a projected $147m COVID-19 related fiscal hit from the additional $508m in net new borrowing recently approved by Parliament to finance Hurricane Dorian reconstruction.  Read more >>