BY EARYEL BOWLEG
Economic Affairs Minister Michael Halkitis said the government did not believe the country was in recession as he stressed it was in the midst of a ‘very strong rebound in the economy’ driven by tourism .
He said finance officials remained “cautiously optimistic”.
“My view is that we don’t claim it,” he said. “We are not claiming the recession, okay. There are different opinions.
“Some people think we’re already in it. Some economists say, you know, it’s going to happen.
“Our experience is that we are in the midst of a very strong rebound in our tourism-driven economy.
“Our source market is in the United States, which has the problem of spending too much money, hence the actions of the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to try to lower them. My view is, you know, in finance, you are always cautiously optimistic.
He went on to explain a possible upside he sees from a recession, especially for tourism.
“Our experience is that we have a strong rebound in tourism. Tourism officials believe, well, they see, that demand will persist into next year. And so a silver lining of any recession, especially when talking about the United States, is our source market. Over 80% of our visitors come from the United States.
“If there is a recession, I always watch it, maybe someone doesn’t go on vacation that far, decides to come to the Bahamas. So that can even be an advantage. You manage your finances. At the In the event that the economic cycles are up and down, we do not fear a recession.
“You don’t want something to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because if you worry about, “Oh, the recession is coming,” people stop spending money, and then you manifest the recession. Our rebound is strong and therefore we (are) optimistic,” said the minister.