1. Based on data available for all four quarters of 2017, GDP at market prices grew by 3.8% instead of 3.9% as estimated in December 2017 and GVA at basic prices grew by 3.5%, lower than the 3.7% growth estimated earlier.
2. The lower growth in GVA at basic prices is mainly due to lower growths in non-sugarcane agricultural activities (2.3% instead of 2.5%), accommodation and food service activities (4.6% instead of 5.6%) and public administration and defence; compulsory social activities (0.6% instead of 2.4%).
3. GDP at market prices is forecasted to grow by 3.9% in 2018, higher than the 3.8% growth in 2017. In light of information gathered on key sectors of the economy, past trends, and taking into consideration policy measures announced in the budget 2017/2018, GVA at basic prices is expected to grow by around 3.9% in 2018, higher than the 3.5% growth in 2017. Exclusive of sugar, the rate would remain at 3.9%.
4. The main assumptions used are as follows:
a) Agriculture, forestry and fishing: to grow by 1.1% compared to a decline of -0.2% in 2017. Within the sector,
(i) “Sugarcane”: no growth based on a sugar production of 355,000 tonnes same as in 2017 compared to a decline of -7.9% in 2017, and
(ii) “Other agriculture”: to grow by 1.3% compared to 2.3% in 2017.
b) Manufacturing: to grow at a rate of 1.3%, after a growth of 1.4% in 2017. The expected performances of its sub sectors are as follows:
(i) “Sugar milling” to record a ‘no growth’ compared to a growth of 2.4% in 2017;
(ii) “Food processing” to grow by 1.0%, higher than the 0.2% growth in 2017;
(iii) “Textile manufacturing” to grow by 1.0%, as opposed to a contraction of -0.7% observed in 2017; and
(iv) “Other manufacturing” to grow by 2.0%, lower than the 4.5% growth in 2017.
c) Construction: to grow by 9.5%, higher than the 7.5% growth in 2017.
d) Wholesale & retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles: to grow at a higher rate of 3.6% compared to 3.1% in 2017.
e) Accommodation and food service activities: to grow by 4.1% compared to 4.6% in 2016, based on expected tourist arrivals of 1,410,000 in 2018 compared to 1,341,860 in 2017.
f) Financial and insurance activities: to grow by around 5.5%, same as in 2017.
g) Public administration and defence; compulsory social security: to grow by 2.3% compared to 0.6% in 2017.
h) Other sectors: growth rates based on recent past trends.
Consumption and Saving
5. Final consumption expenditure of households and government is expected to grow by 3.1%, higher than the 2.7% in 2017.
6. Gross Domestic Savings as a percentage of GDP at market prices would be 10.9 compared to 10.7 in 2017.
7. Investment is expected to grow by 4.2% in 2018, lower than the 4.6% growth in 2017. This is explained by private sector investment to stagnate, after a high growth of 7.6% in 2017 and public sector investment to rebound by 17.9% compared to a decline of -4.1% in 2017. Exclusive of aircraft and marine vessel, the growth in investment would be 5.0% compared to 5.6% in 2017.
8. Investment rate defined as the ratio of investment to GDP at market prices would attain 17.2% in 2018 compared to 17.3% in 2017. Exclusive of aircraft and marine vessel, it would be 17.2%, slightly higher than the rate of 17.1% noted in 2017. Private sector investment rate would be 12.6% and that of the public sector 4.6% compared to 13.2% and 4.1% respectively in 2017.
9. The share of private sector investment in GFCF is expected to reach to 73.5% from 76.5% in 2017 and that of the public sector to increase to 26.5% from 23.5%. Excluding aircraft and marine vessel, the share of private sector investment in GFCF would be 73.7% and that of the public sector, 26.3%.