Economy on upward trend, reports statistics office

| 30/09/2011

(CNS): Although many businesses are still reporting feeling the pinch, the local economy recorded positive growth in the first half of this year, the statistics office has revealed. The ESO said that between January and June, on an annualized basis, the Cayman Islands economy grew by 1.3 percent as compared to a contraction of 4.1 percent during the same six months last year. The ESO also predicted that the annual GDP growth for the entire 2011 calendar year would be 0.9 percent. The statistics experts said that the performance of the hotels and restaurants was one of the driving factors because this sector is estimated to have grown by 8.0 percent as a result of the continued increase in air arrivals.

Taking the credit, Premier and Finance Minister McKeeva Bush said the growth was down to his government’s policies.

“The improved performance of the Cayman Islands’ economy in the first six months points to a recovery that the government nurtured and fostered, and the Islands’ supportive private sector worked arduously to bring about the growth,” Bush stated. “It also demonstrates that we, as the government, must continue to press ahead to ensure that the recovery strengthens and broadens to all economic sectors.”

In its half year report, the ESO also revealed that imports rose by 4.6% to $360.9 million, in contrast to a decline of 5.2% in the same period last year, and while air arrival were on the up, cruise passenger arrivals decline by 3.4%.

News from the financial sector was not quite as positive. While company registrations rebounded by 11% to total 4,844, bank and trust company licenses slid by 5.7%, insurance licenses decreased by 4.4%, mutual funds registration fell as by 77 or 0.8% and stock exchange listings contracted by 18.1% to settle at 1,106, while stock market capitalization for mutual funds sharply declined.

Work permits continued to fall too, but the ESO said the decline at a rate of -7.5% was at least lower compared than the fall of 11.3% the year before. During the first half of 2011, civil service employment decreased by 1.8%, or 65 people, leaving a total of 3,619 government employees.

Water and electricity production and consumption also fell by 1.0% and 2.6% and 0.9% and 1.1% respectively.  The Consumer Price Index increased by 0.5% as lower prices in the housing sector were offset by high oil prices impacting transport, the report said.

For more information on the “The Cayman Islands’ Semi-Annual Economic Report 2011 go to 

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  1. Anon says:

    Figures cant lie but liars can figure.

  2. Want real growth? says:

    Want real growth?  Make Cayman a university town.  Sell the idea to existing universities from around the world to have satellite campuses on island.  These schools can be situated on any part of the island and not limited to any location.  That will create jobs for people to work in the universities.  That will create opportunities for locals to diversify or add to their education.  Students from around the world will fill the schools which will bring people to the island.  With students here and staffing to teach, they will need somewhere to live, shop, dine, etc.  The economy will boom because students spend on things impulsively.  That way the local stores will see increased sales.  Also Cayman Airways and the other airlines will benefit as there will be an increased demand for flights as these students will travel back and forth to their countries of origin. 

    It would be good to have a university set up a small university for marine biology on Cayman Brac and/or Little Cayman.  Maybe the university can set up courses which last only a semester at a time for required travel to these destinations.  It is just a thought.  Or if the university sees it more feasible put the satellite campus in East End? 

     This is a sector which should be seriously explored.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a fabulous idea.  University towns attract money, cultural riches and smart, innovative, creative young people.  Having bright students here in different fields would be a real boon to our Caymanian students — there would be so much more choice for them if we increased the student population as more, and more varied, courses could be offered.  Students are almost by definition temporary residents with a constant turnover rate and an ongoing fondness for the place in which they have studied…repeat visitors!  LOVE this idea.

    • Long Term Solution says:

      Amazing suggestion!  This is a long term solution rather than some temporary fix that would attract temporary business which could eventually fail….see the idiotic idea of the tech zone and compare it to the boom and crash of the internet bubble a few years ago.  They are also proposing to have commodities and investments, again have we already forgotten the global market crash.  These are cyclical and not steady.  Scrap that real estate idea!  Bring on a revamp or creation of Cayman Laws to attract universities. 

      Univerisities and schools will always have students.  They will always have people and it is not only the students coming to the island but the students family and friends that would visit.  Isn't that what Caymanwants?  To increase the tourism numbers?  Students tend to feel loyalty to the school they attend, Cayman would have a constant flow of repeat visitors.  It would be wonderful if the students fall in love with the island and sell the beauty of Cayman to their family and friends!  Which student wouldn't want to go to university and live on the beach!!!!!!

    • School says:

      I would love to go back to university.  Not just for a degree but for continuous learning. However,  I also want to keep my day job and not have to leave the island.  I want to do Theology, Paleontology, Marine Biology etc.  These are things that are not offered by the universities on island.  I am 30 now.  I already have a university degree.  I am Caymanian.  Ihave a thirst for knowledge.  My learning style does not facilitate online learning.  I want to go to a classroom and interact with real students and real professors.  I figure I will be able to complete the three degrees part time by the time I am 60.  By then I will want to study for something else.

      Maybe the universities that will come to Cayman will not offer all the courses I want, but at least there will be a variety larger than the current offering. 

      Whoever can take this idea and run with it.  I implore you please do.  It will help the Cayman Islands dramatically, not only for the increase in education opportunities but for the economy.


    • Like It Is says:

      Earth calling "Want Real Growth".  What is life like on your planet?

      • Want real growth? says:

        What do you propose to stimulate the economy?

        • Like It Is says:

          Removing the restrictions on local business ownership is the obvious answer.  Even if all residents were allowed the same business ownership rights a great deal of capital would be freed up to allow new businesses to start up and employ people.

    • Namby Pamby says:

      So why would anyone locate an "annex" in an place that is expensive, hard to get to and has no culture whatsoever?  This idea is a non-starter.

      Caribbean medical schools are considered a joke in the US – they are basically seens as places for students who didn't get the grades to go to a real med school to go so they can still pander to their parents' dreams of their becoming a doctor.  XXXXX

      • Anonymous says:

        So what? The University of Medicine on Saba, Dutch W.I. does very well for the local economy and it's well-nigh impossible to get there! Besides, a lot of Caymanians attend low-grade colleges in the U.S. and still get good employment on their return.

      • Anonymous says:

        Here is the sales pitch:


        1. Cayman is a beautiful location
        2. Professors and students alike would love to attend university in a warm climate
        3. Students want to attend school as far away from home as possible
        4. Which student would not love to wake up go for a swim/dive, and then go to class? 

        The suggestion was meant to attract universities which are reputable.  The incentive is that students can still graduate from a prestigious university but transfer to a different location to finish a semester/year and then graduate from the parent university.  This is similar to the arrangement with the University of Liverpool.  Similar I say, but I would like to see a bit more progression to the idea.  I would like to see an actual campus or at the very least a building. 

        The universities would be similar to ‘onshore universities’ in that the students still get the quality education of the ‘branded’ university but are able to do so with more ‘comfortable’ surroundings.  I do not expect that there will be hoards of students arriving, as the decision to attend university is based on many factors.  But I do expect that given the opportunity for a student to be able to transfer to an island and live the island life while attending a prestigious university – Ivy League perhaps? – will be an added incentive. 

      • BLAH BLAH BLEH says:

        As a Caymanian I attended university in PEI – Prince Edward Island.  That place is not the most convenient location to get to and it was fairly expensive compared to other locations.  Fortunately it offered the program of my liking.  Besides Cayman is a little over a one hour flight from Miami. So what is your point? I saved money to go to my university of choice.  My parents helped with some and the scholarship paid the rest.  When attracting business you target a market.  If Cayman likes the university town, then the attraction is for students that are on the higher end of the education scale – aka IVY League unis – and the wealthier student. To be quite honest it is all in the marketing because my sister went to Hawaii for university, what was her reasoning?  Because she had never been before! LOL  That alone could be a reason why students want to attend university in the Cayman Islands.   

      • Anonymous says:

        SMU is affiliated with University of Tampa, and the degree is a US degree.  Some SMU students have scored very highly in standardized medical school tests – comparible and in some cases well above Ivy League peers.  SMU has produced graduates that are working in top hospitals and research facilities around the world.  There is no question that it is a world class school.  Alas, not all students are world class, and the high attrition rates are part of the business model that seems to be working.  There is no reason why other schools couldn't emulate their formula and make it work.    

    • Anonymous says:

      I like this. There are a great many who could afford to send their kids to an elite university in an exotic location (which many see Cayman as, local derision aside).Caymanians could have access to a broader local choice, and maybe some of the expats with university age kids might spend their tuition and student expenses locally instead of away.

      Here’s the thing though – it would have to be world class, recruiting great profs and having a great facility. A third-rate school on a little island would be really hard to sell to the folks who have the sort of money we need.

      And “Like It Is”, go grow an idea of your own before you “life on your planet” this person.

  3. Anonymous says:

    PROPAGANDA. Be sure to read the footnote at the bottom of page one of the report which states that figures from Central Government were not available at the time this report was issued. If these figures were included we would see the over half abillion in debt we carry and the millions of dollars we pay in interest on that debt. The truth will reveal itself eventually.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I think they rested the growth chart on its edge by mistake. Place the growth chart at the proper angle and they will see what everyone else is feeling.

    • Anonymous says:

      CNN just posted we are heading for the another recession… who do we believe???

  5. gratefull for a change says:

    I guess the big MACK wont get any credit for this either, but here goes..

    Well done big Mack and all the hard workers in the Tourism Ministry.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don;'t be naive. Any growth has happened in spite of Mac rather than because of him. Can you point to one single policy initiative led by him that led to any growth. Indeed if he had not increased fees and taxes our growth may have been greater.     

    • Anonymous says:

      In light of the fact that 98% of the hotel workers are permit holders, Caymanians really did not benefit from any growth in this sector.

      The only people laughing all the way to the bank were the expats.  The majority of them send their money back home so the local economy hardly saw the benefits.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Are you included the purchases from Dart again? Of course…. 

  7. MER says:

    Was this report done before or after the recent revelations of an almost 400 million dollar deficit of the Pensions fund???

  8. Anonymous says:

    Really – did they borrow the person who did the recent CIREBA report to come up with this?