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Bahamas: Central Bank: Economy to shrink up to 20 percent

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Foreign exchange inflows through the banking system fell by over 50 percent during April through June compared to last year, the Central Bank has reported, with the regulator now forecasting that the economy could shrink by 15 to 20 percent this year.

Central Bank Governor John Rolle underscored the Bahamian economy “contracted sharply” over the first half of 2020, as a result of losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rolle spoke during an unveiling of the bank’s monthly economic and financial developments report for June.

“International tourism was shutdown completely in the second quarter, other than the controlled reopening in June,” he said.

“Non-essential domestic activities were also closed down for most of the period, although construction was allowed to resume ahead of other sectors—providing some stimulus during the period. Otherwise, government assistance and unemployment benefits offered modest income replacement for households facing job losses.”

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