Seychelles' Second-Quarter GDP Drops 17 Percent Due to Covid-19 Effects

The Seychelles.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that Seychelles' Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted 17.2 percent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same period a year earlier.

The principal statistician at NBS, Kevin Bistoquet, told SNA on Monday that the decline was caused mainly by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The partial confinement period, as well as international travel and other restrictions, resulted in many businesses ceasing operations. This consequently led to a slowdown in economic activity," said Bistoquet.

The country's two economic pillars - tourism and fisheries - suffered an 82 percent and 39 percent drop respectively year over year.

Bistoquet said that this decline in growth was driven mainly by a contraction in key tourism related industries such as accommodation and food service activities, transportation and storage, administrative and support service activities, and education and construction.

Figures show that accommodation recorded a 10.5 percent drop and Bistoquet said that this "contributed to a significant decline in hotel bed occupancy during the second quarter of 2020."

A decrease in transportation and storage by negative 4.9 percent was mainly due to the closure of Seychelles' national borders and subsequent reduction in economic activity at the seaport and airport.

The drastic decrease in tourism arrivals also affected most Destination Management Companies (DMCs), car hire companies and other administrative and supporting businesses within this industry, said Bistoquet.

Bucking the trend, the information and communication sector recorded growth of 3.9 percent.

Information collected by NBS is from key data producing agencies such as the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC), Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS). Data are also gathered from small-scaled surveys targeting key commercial parastatal companies and major private companies in selected industries.

The quarterly GDP estimates released on September 30 provides a snapshot of the performance of the economy for the months of April, May and June.

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