18 August 2018
GDP for the first six months of the year expanded by 4.3% compared with the same period last year, according to data published last week by the Central Bank. The increase represents a return to normality after the downturn registered in the first half of 2017 as a consequence of the disruption caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon. Sectors like fishing, agriculture and construction saw significant increases in output, whilst mining and hydrocarbons saw a slight contraction.
GDP expansion in the first half was boosted by monthly growth in April and May (7.8% and 6.5% respectively), precisely the months worst affected by El Niño last year. Growth in June, as against June 2017, saw a slump in the growth rate to only 2%. Most analysts seem to think that growth this year will be between 3.5% and 4%. This compares with 2.3% in 2017. For more detail, go to