Fiscal Deficit around $900 million: Finance ministry of Bahamas

widening of the fiscal deficit to the US - $878.2 million in the first 9 months of the current fiscal year, up from - $251.3 million during the same period in the previous year.

The Bahamas: According to the report of the ministry of finance of Bahamas – The far-reaching economic cost is arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the extraordinary increases in the expenditure to support social aid programmes have led to a continued widening of the fiscal deficit to the US – $878.2 million in the first 9 months of the current fiscal year, up from – $251.3 million during the same period in the previous year.

The Ministry’s – Combined 9 Month Fiscal Snapshot and Report on Budgetary Performance also showed that the total revenue generated from – July 2020 to March 2021 decreased by an estimated amount of -$527.4 million 30 per cent to $1.2 billion.

  • The Aggregate expenditure increased by – $99.5 million 5% – to $2.1 billion and was boosted by notable progress in social assistance benefits that is – $145 million, public debt interest, finance charges and subsidies.
  • The Recurrent expenditure was increased by – $129.6 million to $1.9 billion during the 9 months to March, compared to the same period in the previous year.
  • The Capital expenditure decreased by – 15.2 per cent to $168 million.

 

 The snapshot shows, as of July 2020, the government borrowed – $2.3 billion, compared to the – $936.6 million during the same period in the prior fiscal year.

The first case of COVID-19 in the island of Bahamas was recorded in the month of – March 2020, and the government speedily moved to halt social gatherings, directed the closure of non-essential businesses, closed the borders of the nation and implemented orders to stay at home. This move shut down a large part of the economy for months. 

The ministry further stated that “An estimated -$194.9 million was spent on various programmes and initiatives to help families and businesses afflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Overall, – $15.5 million was spent on the public health safety, – $108 million on unemployment aid, $2.2 million on goods and services purchase, – $23 million for – job retention programme, $30.8 million on food aid, $14.3 million for small business loans, $500,000 on the COVID-19 Unit, and another – $100,000 on goods and services purchase, and $500,000 on the other expenses.