2020 Real growth down by 17.9% due to the pandemic. Accommodation and Food Service Hardest Hit
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2020 Real growth down by 17.9% due to the pandemic. Accommodation and Food Service Hardest Hit

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Department of Statistics estimates that the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as measured by the GDP in constant prices, contracted by 17.9% in 2020. This followed an expansion of 10.5% in 2019 as the island was recovering after being hit by major hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. Real GDP decreased from ANG 2,552 million in 2019 to ANG 2,095.3 million in 2020. GDP as measured in current prices, contracted by 17.7%.

This high contraction in 2020 is due to the COVID 19 pandemic, which was declared in March of 2020 and resulted in a complete lockdown of approximately 6 weeks. The decrease in economic activity, as measured by the Gross Value Added (GVA) by industry in constant prices, was experienced by nearly all industries. The industries that were largely hit were ‘accommodation and food service activities’, ‘wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles’, and ‘transportation and storage’.

The ‘accommodation and food service activities’ industry was hardest hit as the economic activity dropped significantly by approximately 67.4%; GVA for this industry decreased from approximately ANG 280 million to ANG 91.4 million. Similarly, economic activity in the ‘wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles’ industry decreased by 28.3% with the GVA dropping from approximately ANG 322.9 million to ANG 231.6 million. Moreover, the GVA of the ‘transportation and storage’ industry decreased from ANG 253.5 million to ANG 186.6 million; a decrease of ANG 66.9 million or 26.4%.

The industry least affected was the ‘Electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply’ industry as the GVA increased by 16.2%; GVA for this industry increased from approximately ANG 39 million to ANG 45.3 million.

In the end of 2020 and early 2021 CARTAC reviewed the statistical processes used by the department. Based on this review, methodological changes were recommended and implemented by the department resulting in a more accurate process. The methodology used for estimating GDP by production in constant prices (GDP-P kp) is the single indicator method. The single indicator method involves extrapolating the base year output with a volume index or deflating the current year output with a price index. The Intermediate Consumption (IC) in constant prices is calculated based on the assumption of a constant IC/output ratio. GVA is then derived as balancing item. This methodology is an improvement compared to the methodology of global (blanket) deflation previously used i.e., deflation of total GDP by the total CPI. Due to the fact that a Producers’ Price Index (PPI) is unavailable, product specific CPI is used as a proxy for the PPI.

Please note that the 2020 figures are preliminary and are subject to revision once the data from the slated National Accounts Survey 2020 has been completed and the data has been processed. This survey seeks to capture final financial data for 2020 (based on final financial statements) and estimates for 2021 from businesses and organizations. Final figures for 2020 and estimates for 2021 will be published in the fourth quarter of 2022. STAT hereby requests complete cooperation from the business community and reconfirms that all data received is handled confidentially. All reports on the data is on aggregate level, therefore the information of individual companies are not made known. With these data, the government can make better informed policies and decisions.

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