World Economy

Bermuda Tipped to Emerge From Recession

Bermuda Tipped to Emerge From RecessionBermuda Tipped to Emerge From Recession

Bermuda is likely to emerge from recession this year, according to projections by the Ministry of Finance. Analysts from the Ministry estimate that the economy will grow by up to 1.5 percent next year, Bermuda House reported Saturday.

In the outlook section of The National Economic Report of Bermuda 2014, published Friday, the Ministry pins its growth hopes on hotel developments, the broad impact of the America’s Cup, and the efforts of the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) and the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) to bring visitors and international business to the Island.

Gross domestic product figures are not yet available for 2014, but the Ministry estimates that the economy contracted by between zero and 1.5 percent last year, which means the Island endured a sixth successive year of recession in real terms, that is when inflation is taken into account.

The report quotes preliminary data from the 2014 Employment Survey, which shows the Island lost 790 jobs last year, representing a 2.3 percent fall in the number of jobs. “Throughout the current recession, the loss of jobs in the economy is one of the chief contributing factors preventing economic recovery,” the report states. “The Island has lost 6,726 jobs since 2008 when employment levels were at their peak of 40,213.

The 33,487 jobs recorded in 2014 were 16.7 percent less than the 2008 figures.”

Bucking the trend last year was the international business sector, which added 161 jobs for a total of 3,929 jobs, representing a 4.3 percent increase over 2013. Bermuda lost 221 construction jobs last year — continuing a downward trend that the report expects to be reversed this year — leaving the industry with 1,922 jobs, 10.3 percent fewer than in 2013.

The financial intermediation sector, which includes the banking industry, shed 301 jobs, representing a 12.1 percent decline. The business services segment had 106 fewer positions.

The unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in 2014 from 7 percent in 2013.