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Former Central Bank Governor Not Optimistic About Economy

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file_UwTBiOFormer Central Bank Governor Julian Francis has painted a very grim picture of the country’s economy saying he is not optimistic for it’s growth in the near future.

He made the comments while appearing as a guest on a JCN Roundtable Program discussing the economic prospects of the Bahamas.

Francis who served in that post from 1997- 2005 saying that as far as the short term is concerned he is not optimistic for economic growth in the slightest sense primarily due to the country’s inability to grow different sectors of the economy to compete in today’s global market.

“I am really not that optimistic about the short term, what I believe has always driven our economy is what is going on around us.

“When we talk about good times in our economy that’s driven by fairly strongly economies around us which generate the kind of investment and demand which drives our economy.

“We are not an internally driven economy, we could possibly change that over time but I’m not sure that the internal driver of our economy will ever be big enough to satisfy the standard of living The Bahamas has become accustomed to.

“We have still been dependent on the traditional sectors and we have rarely grown any significant sector of the economy which is competitive in today’s environment with some of the new economies which are working around us.

“Unless we can do these things the truth is we are not going to be compared to some of the others who we look at when we benchmark ourselves, I don’t think we are going to be able to emerge as a real powerhouse of an economy.

“We will always be trying to figure out to make the best of what’s going on around us,” Mr. Francis said.

Now while he did admit the country may be in dire straits, he would go on to offer this piece of advice in order to turn things around.

“The key to any real sustainable significant growth which is reshaping our economy we have to become an economy which is far more efficient and needs to learn how to live a bit more in line with our capabilities,” Mr. Francis said.

In September world renowned credit rating agency Moody’s slashed its 2017 economic growth forecast for The Bahamas to “below 1 per cent”, and warned that there was little to medium-term momentum beyond Baha Mar.

It is projecting that the Bahamas’ real GDP will expand by a modest 0.8 per cent in 2017, following a 0.3 per cent contraction last year, further showing how much work is required to turn this nation’s $8.9 billion economy around.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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