Growth in the tourism and construction industry is expected to push GDP to 10.5 percent in 2015, up from 8.5 percent in 2014, reports the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA).
The authority’s Monthly Economic Review for December showed that tourist arrivals for the month of November stood at 89,778 – a decline of 5 percent compared to same point in 2014, and 19 percent compared to the previous month.
“The monthly and annual decrease in arrivals was largely contributed by the decline in arrivals from Asia and Europe”, reported the MMA.
Furthermore, the review also stated that although fish purchases increased 14 percent from September, they fell to 4003.4 metric tonnes in November – registering a decline of 50 percent. The review also reported an 11 percent decline in fish export revenue in November, compared to the same month in 2013.
“The growth in fish volume exports can be attributed to the increase in volume of frozen yellowfin tuna exports,” explained the MMA. “As for the decline in fish export earnings, this was mainly due to the fall in export earnings from frozen skipjack tuna”.
Meanwhile, the figures revealed that the inflation rate dropped from 2.1 percent in October to 1.1 percent in November due to the slow pace at which transport and food prices rose.
The total monthly state revenue grew by 9 percent in September, amounting to MVR1 billion (US$64.9 million), with a decrease in expenditure of 2 percent. The surge in revenue for this period resulted from a “13% growth in tax revenue and a 25% increase in non-tax revenue” while the decrease in expenditure resulted from the 2 percent fall in recurrent expenditure, according to the review.
However, the MMA note that the balance of payments had worsened by 13 percent in October compared to the corresponding month in the previous year due to a 3 percent increase in imports accompanied by a 37 percent decline in exports.
Gross international reserves were reported to have fallen by 1 percent to US$547 million by the end of November – equal to 3.3 months’ worth of imports.