Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin made his case the country is better off now than it was three and a half years ago when his government took office. He says as other economies in the region have faltered, Cayman has bucked the trend by recording four straight years of growth.
“Cayman is the only economy in the region that hasn’t shown contraction, but in fact is in the growth cycle,” said Mr. McLaughlin, who said four straight years of economic growth is just a prelude.
“I believe in a years time, this economy is going to be ticking over so very well that you’ll start hearing again what we heard in the 80’s, which is, perhaps we are going too fast,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
He cited the numbers: unemployment down from 10.5% percent in 2012 to 5.6% for Caymanians. He said the statistics support his bold prediction.
“This belief isn’t based on some hope of mine,” he said. “All of the projections are indicating that Cayman’s economy is going to continue to grow.”
He said the seeds of investment sown years ago will soon be ready to reap. He pointed to the Kimpton Seafire, which took more than three years to build, and other developments in the pipeline to bolster that claim.
“There is always a lag between the investment and the economic activity we see around Cayman and that actually benefiting the people who live and work here,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
He says Cayman has avoided the pitfalls of economic stagnation through prudent fiscal management, and is poised to continue that trajectory.
“Given where we’ve been over the last eight years or so, the world and Cayman in particular, getting into a position where I think we are going to wind up with an economy that is really bubbling and over-employment again, is a position again that I don’t think any of us would be unhappy about,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
The Premier said Cayman’s forecast three percent GDP growth in 2016 outpaced the United States, who was at 1.6% percent growth for the same year. In the region, only the Dominican Republic at 5.9%, outperformed Cayman’s GDP growth.