Categorized | National News

‘COVID-19 Could Lead to Recession’

Fidelity Bank and Trust Chief Financial Officer Gowon Bowe said if the covid-19 situation continues for six months, The Bahamas can expect an economic recession.

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Peter Turnquest said the country is already starting to feel the impact of covid-19 as cruise ship arrivals are on a 30-day hiatus, hotel occupancies have fallen, and hotel workers are being asked to take unpaid or vacation leave.

As a result, Bowe said Bahamians can expect a decline in the economy.

“We do know there is going to be a significant fall off in the productivity of production in the tourism sector. If we put that in context, we do know that there is going to be negative movement in our economy because we will not have even the base of tourism during the next three months,” he said.

“Without being an alarmist, the reality is there is going to be contractions in our economy, and by definition, if that continues within six months that will be a recession.”

The economist said he remains optimistic as the country has seen recession in the past and it has emerged.

“Once the virus is contained, it’s going to be an uphill battle of restoring confidence for those people who rely on it to say The Bahamas is a safe place, the globe is a safe place to get on a plane or travel on a cruise,” Bowe said.

“There’s a reason why our forefathers preached about having a rainy day fund.  It is not to give a lecture to those who don’t have it. Certainly, for those who were able to save, they are going to have an easier ride and be able to weather the storm and get a bridge to the other side.”

Bowe added that the situation the world faces today is not the end of the world.

He encouraged Bahamians to remain hopeful.

“Life or luxury as we know it may be curtailed for a period of time, but certainly in my view, this is not the end of the world. As long as there is hope, we have the ability to focus ourselves. Romans 5:3-4, ‘Not only so, but wealso glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope,’” he said. 

“As long as we persevere, it builds our character. Let’s remain hopeful.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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