Today, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Hon. Wayne Furbert, JP, MP, released the Quarter 1, 2021 Quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by Expenditure publication (attached).
Minister Furbert explained, “After adjusting for inflation, the GDP in constant prices for the first quarter of 2021 when compared to the 1st quarter of 2020 decreased by 4.3 % to $1,686.5 million. The decline in growth was influenced primarily by lower Final Consumption Expenditure and declines in Gross Capital Formation and the surplus External Balance of Goods and Services.”
In analyzing the components, the Minister continued, “Final consumption expenditure fell by 3.8% reflecting declines in both Household Final Consumption and Government Final Consumption.”
Household Final Consumption decreased 3.6% year-over-year to $706.3 million. Higher expenditure on durable goods was offset by lower expenditure on services, non-durable goods and semi-durable goods.
The Minister added, “Consumption of services, which accounted for 74 % of total consumption, fell by 3.9 year-over-year due to lower expenditure for restaurant services, accommodation services and air transport services which were all negatively affected by various COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Spending on cleaning services also fell during the period. For non-durable and semi-durable goods, spending fell 3.9 % with fewer purchases of fuel and personal care goods which offset small increases in food, liquor and clothing expenditure. In contrast, spending on durable goods grew by 3.9 % due largely to increased expenditure on motor vehicles.”
“For Government Final Consumption, a 4.6 % decline during the quarter was due to lower payments for materials and supplies, travel, legal services, insurance and rental of buildings. Payments for wages, salaries and employee overheads decreased with lower spending on overtime pay and superannuation contributions. In contrast, expenditure related to localservice providers, medical supplies and medical equipment grew during the period due to the coronavirus public health emergency .”
The Minister further explained, “Gross Capital Formation (i.e. investment in fixed assets) fell 7.0 % to $208.7 million. Gross Capital Formation related to Construction registered a 14.3 % decrease with less construction activity for large projects offset by increased activity in new residential construction, and civil works such as road, dock and bridge refurbishments. Investment in Machinery and Equipment increased 2.3 % attributed to the importation of communication equipment, transport equipment, wooden and metal furniture.
“The External Balance of Goods and Services decreased 4.1 % to $581.9 million. This decline reflected mostly lower receipts for the Exports of Goods and Services which fell 5.5 % due to decreased visitor expenditure compared to Quarter 1 of 2020 and a contraction in revenue earned from financial services, ICT services and fuel sold to visiting airlines. Imports of Goods and Services decreased 7.5 % as payments fell for passenger transport, travel services, professional and management services as well as fewer payments for imported fuel and some equipment such as magnetic resonance imaging apparatus.”
The Quarter 1, 2021 Quarterly GDP by Expenditure publication is available online at https://www.gov.bm/quarterly-gross-domestic-product. The public is advised to read the concepts and definitions on the last page of the publication prior to reviewing the data.