First estimates of Gross Domestic Product for 2017 show Guernsey’s economy experienced a period of strong growth in 2016 and last year.
The Guernsey Gross Value Added and Gross Domestic Product annual bulletin shows that the economy grew in real terms by 2.0%, to give a total of £3.05 billion. The real-terms growth rate for 2016 has also been revised upwards to 2.6% reflecting the availability of more detailed information on company profits for the year.
Current estimates also show that GDP per person, which provides an indication of the island’s standard of living, grew in real terms by 2.4% in both 2016 and 2017.
Data in the bulletin confirms the health of the economy during 2017, which had previously been indicated by stronger than expected growth in government revenues, falling levels of unemployment and the expansion of the workforce during the year.
Deputy Gavin St Pier, President of the Policy & Resources Committee, said:
“As we approach the 2019 budget, it is reassuring to have confirmation of the strength of Guernsey’s current economic conditions. The healthy growth reported for 2017 in the first estimates of GDP for the year, mirror the strong performance of the States’ finances in 2017 and the expansion of Guernsey’s labour market during the year.
“We must continue to ensure all Guernsey’s economic sectors have ready access to the skills and expertise they need to prosper. We must also maintain our reputation as a well-regulated jurisdiction and continue to meet the highest international standards for transparency and co-operation. The strong growth reported in the finance sector over the last two years is evidence that our efforts to protect and enhance our reputation have paid dividends for our economy.
“The global economy has been in an extended period of growth for some time but we know the global economy operates in cycles. So it is only prudent to use the gains of economic growth while the economy is in good health to prepare for times when it may be less so. This period of economic strength has given us the opportunity to bolster our fiscal position, replenish our financial reserves and ensure we have the resilience to meet future uncertainties.”
Statistics for the first half of 2018 show continued low levels of unemployment and a further expansion of the workforce. The most recent population estimates, for the third quarter of 2017, also show a resumption of net immigration. Together these suggest that economic growth has continued into 2018.
Gross Domestic Product is an aggregate measure of the total amount of income generated by individuals and companies in the island, which is primarily:
- Individuals: Wages, bonuses, benefits in kind Rental income (and imputed rental income for owner occupiers) Income from self-employment
- Companies: Profits Rental income
Office for National Statistics Gross Domestic Product statisticians provided independent scrutiny of the data sources and methods used to calculate the restated GDP estimates, following work to update the methodology last year.
Colin Vaudin, States of Guernsey Chief Information Officer, said:
“We are back into our regular timetable for producing the first estimates of GDP and GVA this year, after the major methodological updates last year. The figures are available from www.gov.gg/gdpand will also be included in the Facts and Figures Booklet, which will be available in a few weeks’ time.
“We revised the 2016 figures upward, as it was apparent once the latest data became available to us, that our initial estimates of the Gross Operating Surpluses of Corporations had been rather too conservative. The 2017 estimates use new information from the Guernsey Economic Model, which we hope means they are closer to final figures and won’t be revised significantly when we update them next year.”