Published On: Mon, Dec 31st, 2012

St. Maarten economy emerging from crisis

PHILIPSBURG – The Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS), in a special retrospective and prospective report for Antilliaans Dagblad published on Saturday, indicated that St. Maarten's economy is showing signs of finally emerging from the effects of the global economic crisis.

The bank noted that as a result of St. Maarten's sole dependency on tourism, the economic crisis had affected this island more so than it had Curaçao and had translated into a shrinking economy since 2009.

A modest 0.8 per cent recovery is expected for 2012, buoyed by the increase in both stay-over and cruise tourism. The increase in tourism figures, the CBCS notes, also contributed to favourable developments at the airport and harbour (increased arrival numbers); and in wholesale and retail.

However, the bank claims that local consumption remains under pressure with relatively high inflation causing the erosion of purchasing power. The increase in price levels is at 4.3 per cent, only slightly lower than 4.6 per cent in 2011.

CBCS also indicated that the construction and the financial sectors had shown positive results. The construction sector benefited from the execution of various projects, including the port, American University of the Caribbean, housing and a shopping mall (Blue Mall).

"For 2013, with respect to St. Maarten, a continuation of the economic recovery is expected (i.e. one per cent), under the influence of a further growth of tourism based on a careful recovery of the world economy," the bank noted.

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