A country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP, moving forward) is defined as the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific period of time (usually defined yearly).

Though a nation’s GDP is usually calculated on a twelve-month basis, it can also be calculated on a quarterly basis in some instances. GDP takes into account all of the private and public use, the government’s expenditures, investments and exports (less the imports) that occur within a nation. In plain English, gross domestic product is a general measurement of a country’s overall economic activity and a key indicator of the health of that nation’s economy.

That being said, the growth in the Cayman Islands gross domestic product slowed down in 2015 compared to 2014. This statement is coming directly from the island’s Economic and Statistics Office [ESO, moving forward]. The ESO’s Annual Economic Report showed that our tiny island nation’s GDP is expected to rise by +/- 2% in 2015 compared to 2.4% in 2014. The Minister for Finance and Economic Development Mr. Marco Archerstated that the growth rate was higher than expected despite the challenges from the global economyand that he was pleased with the performance of all of Cayman’s economic sectors. Moreover, the minister’s office showed that as of the third quarter of 2015, many of the economic indicators showed that the GDP would be coming in at the 2% percent figure.

This GDP growth number is lower than the 2.4%reached in the previous year. This figure corresponded with the downturn in worldwideeconomic growth from 3.4% in 2014 to 3.1% in 2015.The slowing in theworld economic growth was due largely to the performances ofdevelopingnations, the Chinese economy and the economic conditions present in emerging-market countries.

The GDP per capita figure is obtained by dividing the country's gross domestic product (adjusted for inflation) by the nation’s total population. The Cayman Islands GDP per capita fell to CI$44,109 as the six month population growth outweighed the GDP growth. The economic growth in 2015 was wide-ranging as all of the nation’s economic segmentsgrew save forhotels and restaurants. This area declined slightly by +/- 0.7% in 2015 as compared to a steady growth of 4.9% in 2014. The ESO explained that this wasprimarily because of a slowdown in the growth of stay-over tourist arrivals.

The Cayman Islands Government, on the other hand, recorded its third successive year of a monetary surplus with CI$116.1 million in its coffers compared to the CI$93.2 million it earned last year. The ESO minister said this could be attributed to the combination of higher revenue collection and lower government spending. The Cayman Islands Government was also able to reduce its debt from CI$534million at the end of 2014 to CI$511 million at the end of 2015.

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