At the half-way point in 2012 it appeared that the Bahamian economy would sustain its trend of growth which began in the previous calendar year.

The outlook for our primary tourism sector continues to improve, albeit marginally as hotels have started to reattract the lucrative corporate group travel segment in addition to yielding positive results from on-going travel incentive programs jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and the private sector. This positive forecast however, still remains contingent on the strength of the global economy and in particular, that of our number one trading partner, the United States.

As we continue to reiterate, sustained improvements must also be exhibited in our still stagnant labour and housing markets before consumer confidence levels can return to normal.

One of the issues that resurfaced during the recent elections is that of changing our current tax collection model from that of import duties to one that is more encompassing such as â€˜Value Added Tax' (VAT) which seems to be gathering more steam as the preferred alternative.

While we agree a more comprehensive tax collection model needs to be considered, we are of the view that this only addresses the revenue side of managing our fiscal deficit problem. To get us where we need to be, concerted efforts must also be placed on outright reductions or as much as possible limiting increases in government expenditures going forward.

While revenue expansion is always good, if expenses are left unchecked, any gains from changing our current tax model can be easily negated.

Click here for the economic data which provides a snapshot of how various economic segments are performing, simultaneously providing a mosaic view on the current condition of the overall Bahamian Economy.