Chamber of Commerce: “Curaçao’s economy barely attracts”
WILLEMSTAD - Although the economic climate of Curaçao has improved slightly in the second quarter of this year, this has happened at a pace too low to speak of an economic recovery. While on the one hand, the sectors of Logistics and Utilities show improvement, the other side, Tourism shows a significant deterioration. The oil refining is also staying behind for the third consecutive quarter.
Based on the latest data from the Short Term Economic Review (STAR) of the Chamber of Commerce of Curaçao, it can be inferred that the Gross Domestic Product of -½% has climbed in the first quarter of 2015 to -¼% in the second quarter. If the current trend continues, the economic growth in Curaçao will amount to no more than -¼% for the year 2015.
Consumer spending in the second quarter of 2015 compared with the first quarter seeing a small improvement. This improvement is attributable to a slight increase in consumer credit and spending on luxury goods and cars. In mortgage lending to consumers, no improvement has occurred. There is no change in the past three months came in the level of corporate investment. It should be noted that, for the fourth consecutive quarter the indicators of investment companies have no positive impact on the economic recovery.
The growth of tourism on a yearly basis (July 2014-July 2015) amounted to over 5 per cent, measured by the number of nights. Compared with the growth of 11% in the previous year, that is a sharp decline in growth. The decline is attributable in part to the last three months (May to July 2015). In those months, the Venezuelan tourism dropped sharply.
In the first quarter of 2015 there was a revival in construction, but in the second quarter this seems already over. In Logistics (airport and seaport) and the Utilities (electricity and water), there is an improvement. The improvement in the Logistics mainly affected the seaport. In the utilities, the improvement reflected in an increase in water consumption by companies. A new indicator measures the performance of oil refining. It has measured a deterioration which started in the last quarter of 2014 in the following two quarters in 2015 there was no change.
In the Business Cycle Monitor a number of new indicators have been recorded, including turnover tax, import duties and payroll tax. These indicators support the conclusion that the economy, in the second quarter, improved slightly compared to the first quarter of 2015. The improvement, however, is so small that it may be expected that, given the pace of economic development, economic growth over 2015 will continue stabbing at -¼%. This remains a challenge to rise above the zero line.
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