GDP growth rate
1. Based on data available for all four quarters of 2018, GVA at basic prices grew by 3.6% and GDP at market prices grew by 3.8%, same as estimated in December 2018.
2. In light of latest information gathered on key sectors of the economy, GVA at basic prices is expected to grow by 3.6%, same as in 2018. Exclusive of sugar, the rate would remain at 3.6%.
3. Based on figures provided by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, taxes on products (net of subsidies) will grow at a high rate of 6.1%.
4. Consequently, GDP at market prices is forecasted to grow by 3.9%.
5. The main assumptions used are as follows:
a) Agriculture, forestry and fishing: to grow by 2.3% compared to a decline of 1.3% in 2018. Within the sector,
(i) “Sugarcane”: a sugar production of 324,000 tonnes compared to 323,406 tonnes in 2018, resulting in a growth of 0.2% compared to a drop of 9.1% in 2018, and
(ii) “Other agriculture”: to grow by 2.7% compared to 0.4% in 2018.
b) Manufacturing: to grow at a rate of 1.3%, after a growth of 0.7% in 2018. The expected performances of its sub sectors are as follows:
(i) “Sugar milling” to rebound by 7.0% after a contraction of 19.0% in 2018. This growth is the combined effect of a local sugar production of 324,000 tonnes and the refining of 40,000 tonnes of imported raw sugar. In 2018, no sugar was imported for refining;
(ii) “Food processing” to grow by 2.0%, lower than the 3.4% growth in 2018;
(iii) “Textile manufacturing” to dip further by 0.5%, after the decline of 6.8% in 2018; and
(iv) “Other manufacturing” to grow by 2.0%, lower than the 4.7% growth in 2018.
c) Construction: to grow by 8.6% compared to 9.5% in 2018.
d) Wholesale & retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles: to grow at a lower rate of 3.4% compared to 3.6% in 2018.
e) Accommodation and food service activities: to grow by 3.6% compared to 4.1% in 2018, based on expected tourist arrivals of 1,450,000 in 2019 compared to 1,399,408 in 2018. It is to be noted that since December 2018, tourist arrivals by air have been decreasing when compared to the corresponding periods of previous year. The decreases have been offset by increases in tourist arrivals by sea. The 2019 forecast assumes a pick up around April resulting from marketing strategies to be put in place.
f) Financial and insurance activities: to grow by around 5.2%, lower than the 5.4% growth in 2018.
g) Public administration and defence; compulsory social security: to grow by 2.1% compared to 1.8% in 2018.
h) Other sectors: growth rates based on recent past trends.
Consumption and Saving
6. Final consumption expenditure of households and government is expected to grow by 3.2%, lower than the 3.5% in 2018.
7. Gross Domestic Savings as a percentage of GDP at market prices would be 9.7 compared to 9.1 in 2018.
8. Investment is expected to grow by 12.6% in 2019, higher than the 11.4% growth in 2018, mostly explained by a higher growth expected in public sector investment mainly due to the acquisition of an aircraft. Exclusive of aircraft and marine vessel, the growth in investment would be 6.9% compared to 12.6% in 2018.
9. Private sector investment is expected to decline by 0.8% in 2019, after a high growth of 10.4% in 2018 and public sector investment to expand by 53.8% compared to a growth of 14.7% in 2018.
10. Investment rate defined as the ratio of investment to GDP at market prices would attain 20.5% in 2019 compared to 18.7% in 2018. Exclusive of aircraft and marine vessel, the investment rate would be 19.5%, higher than the rate of 18.7% noted in 2018.
11. Private sector investment rate would be 13.6% and that of the public sector 6.9% compared to 14.1% and 4.6% respectively in 2018.
12. The share of private sector investment in GFCF is expected to reach to 66.4% from 75.4% in 2018 and that of the public sector to increase to 33.6% from 24.6%. Excluding aircraft and marine vessel, the share of private sector investment in GFCF would be 69.9% and that of the public sector, 30.1%.