NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The country’s external reserves grew by just $117 million in the first half of this year, far less than the $788 million buildup in 2022 Central Bank Governor John Rolle noted yesterday.
Rolle, while speaking at a press briefing on the regulator’s Monthly Economic and Financial Developments report for June, noted that with regards to the foreign exchange indicators and external reserve trends, over the first six months of 2023 total inflows through the banking system—which capture impacts from tourism, foreign investment spending, and other private sector activities—increased by 3.8 percent to $3.8 billion. This is compared to a recovery-related rebound of 50 percent in 2022.
Rolle noted however that inflows were expected to have been stronger, given the extent of strengthening in tourism indicators. “This underscores the importance of boosting domestic retention from all subsectors in which there is growth,” said Rolle.
“As expected, the growth in spending on imports of goods and services and portfolio investments was stronger than trends on the inflow side, increasing by 11.1 percent in the first half of 2023. On a net basis, therefore, the private sector retained less foreign exchange, contributing to a smaller boost in the external reserves.