The Bahamas suffered a 23.9 per cent drop in goods exports during the first two months of 2010, a report by a United Nations (UN) body has revealed, the greatest decline experienced by any of the Caribbean nations surveyed.
The report by the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) showed that Bahamian goods exports slumped by an even greater amount – 30.3 per cent – during 2009.
Bahamian services exports also dropped, falling by 10.7 per cent in 2009, as opposed to an average annual growth rate of 4.4 per cent between 2003-2008.
“In particular, the Bahamas was successful in its Companion Fly Free Programme, which brought increases in forward bookings and allowed the hotel sector to reintroduce last-minute offers to fill spare capacity,” the eport said.
“Nevertheless, the general consensus is that the recovery – especially in receipts – will most likely not make up for the decline experienced during the recession, as demand in source markets remains low and prices have been cut to attract visitors.”
Given the services-dependent nature of the Bahamian economy, the ECLAC report said The Bahamas had experienced “a sharper drop in GDP” when compared with Caribbean economies more oriented to goods, such as Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Suriname.