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Haiti - Economy : 1.5% GDP growth only in 2018
26/01/2019 08:14:13

Haiti - Economy : 1.5% GDP growth only in 2018
According to the Haitian Institute of Statistics and Informatics (IHSI), the Haitian economy has not reached the growth target of 3.9% set by the authorities at the beginning of the fiscal year 2018 the objective revised down of 2.4%, taking into account the evolution of the first two quarters of the year. According to preliminary data, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown in real terms by only 1.5%, barely equal to the natural population growth rate.

Unlike the 2017 fiscal year, which was severely disrupted by both natural disasters and socio-political turmoil, economic agents benefited during the first nine months of fiscal year 2018 from rather favorable climate for business. Indeed, the problems began only in the last quarter of the fiscal year from the riots of 6, 7 and 8 July.

In this context, modest but positive results were achieved in 2018 by almost all business sectors. Thus, with 3.3 billion gourdes constant, the Agriculture branch, enjoying the positive effects of the absence of major climatic hazards was able, despite the persistence of some structural problems, to post a certain increase in volume of 1.0%. This result would have been better if there had been no premature stop in June of the rainy season and no delays in seed distribution...

For their part, led mainly by manufacturing food and beverages (+ 1.0%) and those of Textiles, Clothing and Leather (+ 1.4%), Manufacturing Industries have grown overall by about 1.1%. Other sectors that contributed the most to GDP growth included Buildings and Public Works (+ 2.1%) strongly supported by infrastructure works. Despite the events of July, the results of the first three quarters allowed the trade sector to post an increase of + 1.1%, (lower than the previous year + 1.3%).

GDP growth has been driven by all of its components. Driven, among other things, by the increase (+ 13%) in the wage bill of permanent employees of the Public Administration and the increase of more than 18% of the diaspora transfers, the final consumption, in real terms, increased 1.2%. Finally, despite the July 2018 riots, exports performed better in 2018 than in 2017, with volume growth of + 2.0% (+ 11.3% of exports of assembly products, compared to -5.1% in 2017).

As far as consumer prices are concerned, inflation continues to hold at double digits with an annual average of 14.3%, lower than last year's 14.6%. The parity of the gourde against the dollar in annual average for the year 2018 (65.4 Gourdes for a dollar) is slightly lower than that of 2017 which was 65.6 Gourdes for a dollar. Note that it is especially from the months of July and August 2018, that the exchange rate has really slipped (more than 75 gourdes for a dollar in January 2019).

The growth prospects for fiscal year 2018-2019 are particularly difficult because of the fragility of the socio-political situation. If there is not an effort to put the higher interests of the Nation above clan interests, the 2.8% growth target envisioned for the 2019 fiscal year will be wishful thinking because it requires the contribution of each sector of national life.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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