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Bahamas: Idb Warns ‘Worst Case’ Impact Could Be $3bn

The Bahamas could suffer a catastrophic 26 percent gross domestic product (GDP) cut if the worst-case coronavirus scenario comes true, an Inter-American Development Bank report revealed yesterday.

Two IDB economists, unveiling several potential outcomes depending on the length of the pandemic and the extent of its impact on tourism, warned that The Bahamas is potentially exposed to the most severe economic contraction out of all Caribbean nations.

Should the worst-case scenario they mapped out become reality, The Bahamas would suffer the loss of a staggering $3.337bn in economic output (GDP) based on the $12.739bn current GDP estimates given in the revised mid-year budget forecasts.

Using the last figure for GDP in constant prices, which was $10.763bn for 2018 and is a measure that strips out inflation, gives $2.819bn as the scale of the economic contraction that The Bahamas would face due to a virtual shutdown of the tourism industry that it relies on to drive growth, employment and foreign exchange earnings.

The economists, Henry Mooney and Maria Zegarra, said The Bahamas is so exposed because it is the most tourism-dependent nation in the region. They added that it relies on the industry for 48.3 percent of its annual GDP (economic output) and 56.2 percent of total employment.

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