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|Central Bank: ‘Structural measures are necessary’|
|Tuesday, 2 October 2012 13:47|
WILLEMSTAD — For the economy of Curaçao to grow again we need structural measures and fiscal reinforcement. We must also revise the social security and public health to meet the demand in the long term. Central bank director Emsley Tromp stated this with the publication of the first quarter figures of 2012 from the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) last Friday.
In his statement, which is dated before the events of last weekend, Tromp wrote that a solution must be found very soon for the political crisis on Curaçao. “The current developments literally brought the functioning of the government to a standstill and cast a dark shadow on the climate for investment.”
Curaçao experienced an economic decline of 0.9 percent in the first quarter, compared to 0.4 percent last year. This economic decline was coupled with an inflation of 3.3 percent, compared to 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2011. The twelve-month average was 2.6 percent. The higher inflation was mainly due to higher oil prices and the sales tax increase from 5 to 6 percent. The inflation was even higher on St. Maarten, namely 5.8 percent compared to 2.8 percent last year with a twelve-month average of 5.4 percent.
The decline of the GNP on Curaçao was due to a decrease in the public sector, according to the quarterly report. Meanwhile, economic activities remained the same in the private sector owing to fewer ‘financial services’ in both the national banking sector and the international financial services, while other sectors had shown a growth. For instance, in the transport, storage and communication sector due to an increase in the aviation and airport-related activities. The harbor also showed positive figures due to the arrival of more ships, more cargo and oil storage activities. The hotel and restaurant sector also showed an increase in the number of stay over and cruise tourists.
The Central Bank believes there’s still a need for timely and reliable figures on the public means. According to the data available, Curaçao had a budgetary surplus of 33 million guilders in the first quarter, compared to 124 million guilders in the first quarter of 2011. More tax money had been collected than last year but there were more expenditure, mainly regarding subsidies, salaries and transfers.
The entire quarterly report from the Central Bank can be found on www.centralbank.an.