BVI News

CDB stats: Real GDP grew in BVI for 2018

CDB President Dr William Warren Smith. (Photo by Davion Smith/BVI News)

In monitoring the economy of the British Virgin Islands — one of its borrowing countries — the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has recorded an increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) for the territory last year.

GDP is the total value of goods and services (economic output) provided in a country each year. ‘Real GDP’ is the term used to define a country’s economic output after inflation costs are factored in.

Speaking at the bank’s 2019 Annual News Conference that BVI News attended in Barbados last Thursday, president of the CDB, Dr William Warren Smith, said the BVI managed to see an increase in real GDP despite experiencing the widespread devastation from hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“The Virgin Islands experienced a 50 percent decline in visitor arrivals [after the hurricanes]. Nevertheless, real GDP grew by over two percent as a result of buoyant business and financial services activity,” the CDB president reported.

This increase in real GDP, notwithstanding the disaster, happened under the leadership of Premier and Minister of Finance in the National Democratic Party government, Dr D Orlando Smith.

Meanwhile, the CDB boss noted that the BVI was not the only one of its borrowing countries that saw an increase in real GDP last year. He said reconstruction efforts in countries that were affected by the disasters also “contributed in large parts to their upturn”.

The CDB loaned $65 million to the BVI for rehabiliation and reconstruction following the 2017 disasters.

The BVI experienced a 2.3 percent growth in GDP for 2018.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. take that to the bank says:

    The country was doing good until we elected the NDP

    Like 12
    Dislike 25
  2. Hmmm says:

    Cant be! The VIP’s entire campaign is hinged upon the rhetoric that the ndp is sinking up…and we’re actually growing since the storms…I guess the economy is robust??

    Like 19
    Dislike 8
    • Anonymous says:

      “He said reconstruction efforts in countries that were affected by the disasters also “contributed in large parts to their upturn”. Dont get too excited. Don’t just run with the headlines. The construction will stop or dwindle when repairs are completed.

      Like 16
      Dislike 9
      • @Anonymous says:

        This is what upsets me with people like you. When they say something is down because of Irma we bash the NDP. When they say something is up because of the reconstruction contributed to by Irma, we shouldn’t get too excited. You guys love negativity and that’s why the country cannot be any better. The fact is a small territory like the BVI being struck down by a cat 5 Hurricane and back up and running within months speaks volumes. AND, we didn’t get any funding from the UK, we got the military and initial food items yes and we should be grateful. But we didn’t get millions in grants like some of our neighbors did and look at us. WE have yet to access the 65 mil CDB monies or the money that will be available under RDA yet look at the place. A lot needs to be done but it’s far better than last year around this time. The Government has been working and we should be grateful that a leader with a steady hand like Dr. Smith was at the helm. I am sticking with the NDP.

        Like 25
        Dislike 12
        • bull junks says:

          It is the people them insurance money is what have the country looking good…We couldn’t find a NDP after the hurricane

          Like 8
          Dislike 2
        • PROBLEMS says:

          My problem with the NDP or the VIP or what ever other party is they are all a bunch of thives for themselves, family members and connected. As an offshore entity if it was so good to the B.V.I. since its existence there should be no need with all of the monies that are hidden to have to go to the British Goverment or any other entity for handouts for the goverment should be awash in cash.


          Like 2
          Dislike 2
      • Listener says:

        NDP has a plan to extend the construction boom and make it easier for youths to own their first home. I heard Henry talking about this.

        Have you been listening?

        Like 10
        Dislike 5
        • Yea we listening says:

          But with what money? RDA funds? CDB loans? IMF and world bank? Increased taxes on the local people while their rich white friends benefit with many cut backs and incentives? It’s OK I’m sticking with the VIP all the way. We will find out exactly the true state of our finances

    • Truth says:

      The VIP has NOTHING to offer the Territory. NOTHING!!!! Listen and pay attention to the candidates as they speak at the rallies. Listen to the plans. Listen to the realities. The VIP plans to win this election on nasty and dirty politics and we cannot allow it. The NDP has proven so far with their campaign that they are far better equipped to lead this Territory than those on the VIP side. Here we have this information, during one of the toughest years in BVI history after recovering from a catastrophic event. No civil servants lost their jobs and the Government held it together until things could start coming back. Now we have tourists coming back, hotels building back, investors coming with plans and some of us want to change this for the VIP and their empty promises?

      Like 23
      Dislike 11
      • What Time Is It? says:

        St. Martin and Guadeloupe are already up and running and Offshore financial services is not major sectors of their economies.

  3. Albion says:

    Surely that is no surprise – remember where we were in December 2017. The country was in a state of devastation. Most of us did not have power. Hurricane debris still covered the roads. The fact that we managed to muster 2.3% growth against that background is hardly surprising. Like the song goes: things could only get better.

    Like 15
    Dislike 2
  4. LOL says:

    It is growing because we cant access the funds…We busy paying interest on money we cant use up to yet

    Like 7
    Dislike 10
  5. Call me Ismael says:

    And none of that money spent on fixing our sewer system? We need to get our priorities established. We need a plan. We need a whistleblower law. Where has all of our money gone Mr

    Like 9
    Dislike 4
  6. Banks says:


    Ask the VIP what their plans are and tell them to stop embarrassing the BVI with that unbecoming behavior. Do they want to be elected Government or become road march champions on the streets of road town? Their behavior lately is so despicable I really don’t know how people can support them. The NDP has their downfalls but I am willing to give this new team lead by Myron a chance before I even consider Andrew and the jokers he has. For the life of me I cannot understand why he has Cline and Frillock as the mouth pieces of his campaign. How can Dr. Arlene, Sharie, Luce and others who are known to be decent people, sit back and watch that nasty behavior and say nothing about it? With every rally they are getting worst and worst with their vile behavior and cannot tell us up to this day what they will do when elected. They are calling elected officials nasty names when they themselves were dismissed from Government for their questionable actions. I hope the voters of the BVI are paying attention.

    Like 21
    Dislike 16
  7. Jokes says:

    It is official! We hate anything positive in the BVI!

    Like 15
    Dislike 5
  8. Numbers Don’t Lie says:

    NDP!!!! All the wayyyy!!!!

    Like 22
    Dislike 16
  9. Anonymous says:

    It is a combo of PVIM and NDP who appear most genuinely qualified in experience, mind and spirit to lead us forward.

    It is hoped that the majority of our people can see that.

    Like 7
    Dislike 12
    • BuzzBvi says:

      Ah. A combo. You mean pretend we are separate and not with NDP and then join back together.
      Er. Isn’t that NDP.
      The same NDP that has islands without adequate power, sewerage, water, open registers, open audits, published finances, a plan, schools, offices, ports, ferries running to a day long schedule, maintenance of anything.
      NDP do not even have a plane or an airline and soon to have no runway at all.
      Roads did I mention roads?

      Like 6
      Dislike 6
  10. Truth says:


    Like 19
    Dislike 9
  11. There is the proof says:

    An independent analysis of the state of our economy, the BVI is doing well, NDP has managed our affairs well, NDP has managed to produce and build our reserve funding significantly

    Like 13
    Dislike 11
    • Here here says:

      We voting for progress not lies and deception. The two crooked mouth pieces for VIP will get what is coming to them. What can you say about VIP candidates when they have not one, but TWO persons with cloudy records when serving in Government as their mouth piece and their candidates are cheering them on? We will punish them at the polls for their nasty behavior. Dirty politics has no call in the BVI, we need leaders with track records of doing things. Did you guys see how the esteemed struggled so hard to compare Fahie’s 8 years as Minister of Education to Myron’s 8 years as Minister of Education? He simply could not compare it, he was just talking pure rubbish. This in itself should tell you who is the better man to lead this Territory.

      Like 10
      Dislike 5
  12. NDP All the WAY says:

    I bet my last dollar you wouldn’t see this good news on VINO BVI DO NOT BE FOOLED them hate MYRON because them see he has the potential to be the next H.Lavity Stoutt .. they don’t want 30 years from now we honoring him for what reason?? Because his parents aren’t local ? VIP N RONNIE PARTY NEED TO STOP THE WICKEDNESS!!

    Like 8
    Dislike 4
  13. Billy says:

    It’s so funny because if the man said the GDP dropped because of Irma, the bloggers would be saying NDP has to go. Now they’re saying it’s increased, they’re saying it’s only because of Irma and reconstruction. You people never fail to amaze me at all. How hard is it to give jack his jacket? Thanks to Walwyn and his team our kids have access to PROPER technical and vocational programs, regional exams and many more. Imagine what the possibilities are with him as Premier. I’m voting for progress not nasty politics, NDP is getting my vote all the way no splitting.

    Like 10
    Dislike 2
    • Haha says:

      The same man that said it grew mentioned the reasons why it grew so dont try to make it seem like people are spinning their own narrative. Y’all want it to be because things are so well when in reality it’s not. Reports after Irma was that 80% of the buildings in BVI sustained some damage from the hurricane. Everybody was spending and ordering stuff because we had no choice. A Department Store etc could tell you that they experienced a huge increase in profit during the same period as well but this is not because the economy was booming. It was because we lost everything and had to repurchase stuff that we had before or needed due to the circumstances so it would be a temporary rise for that period but you dont have to take my word for it. “CDB boss noted that the BVI was not the only one of its borrowing countries that saw an increase in real GDP last year. He said reconstruction efforts in countries that were affected by the disasters also “contributed in large parts to their upturn”.

      Like 4
      Dislike 2
    • Real Growth..No Bull! says:

      I would give Mr Walwyn his jacket if there were say 20 tradesmen from the technical school repairing roofs and installing windows and doors; if there were 10 plumbers or electricians from the technical school; if there were 2 mechanics from the technical school working in the yachting industry.
      Now imagine the moneys leaving the country daily through Moneygram and Western Union, because in 8 years since Mr. Walwyn there isn’t any real technical school.
      Talking about a third Economic Pillar?; we already have that. Its called Labour, except it’s imported labour; a real source of income for government .
      Real Growth:
      Fastest growing economies in the Caribbean?.
      (1) Dominican Republic 6.6 % GDP as of 2015.
      (2) St. Kitts/Nevis 5.2 % GDP as of 2015. Source: “United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean”. Both islands tourism products include Brand name hotels including 5-Star hotels. I am particularly interested and impressed with St.Kitts/Nevis who exited its Sugar Cane economy only a few years ago (10-15); today with 3 brand name hotels; Four Seasons (5-star) – Marriott (4-star) Park Hyatt (5-stars recently opened). Cruise ship piers: currently 1 at Port Zante Marina; second under construction to be completed 3rd quarter of 2019.

  14. ThinkTank says:

    Did you listen to the NDP? it’s obvious you didn’t if you’re happy with the state of the territory and it’s finances it says alot about your character. Government is not a personal thing it’s a people thing. Far too long these people played around with our livelihood. So for heavens sake GUH…SIDUNG!!!

    Like 1
    Dislike 3
  15. Gordaguy2 says:

    The GDP grew because of the repair and restoration – just like sales go up for Home Depot after floods and tornadoes in the USA. The wages paid in the BVI cause GDP to increase.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
    • we have a serious problem says:

      Please read the article properly:

      “The Virgin Islands experienced a 50 percent decline in visitor arrivals [after the hurricanes]. Nevertheless, real GDP grew by over two percent as a result of buoyant business and financial services activity,” the CDB president reported.

      Like 2
      Dislike 5
    • DOES ANYONE READ? says:

      “The Virgin Islands experienced a 50 percent decline in visitor arrivals [after the hurricanes]. Nevertheless, real GDP grew by over two percent AS A RESULT OF BUOYANT BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES ACTIVITY,” the CDB president reported.

      Like 3
      Dislike 4
  16. Diaspora says:

    Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the BVI in Sep 2017, inflicting estimated damages at $3.6B. Further, 70% of the housing inventory were also damaged. The decimation also caused a GDP drop of 50%. The CDB noted that: “ He said reconstruction efforts in countries that were affected by the disasters also “contributed in large parts to their upturn.” It is no surprise that construction was a leading factor in the up tick.

    As would be expected, home owners and businesses start rebuilding. True, though slow out of the block after the storm, government fiscal policy in reducing duty on construction/building material was helpful. The 2% increase in real GDP growth is encouraging and a step forwarded and in the right direction.

    Prior to hurricanes Irma and Maria ravaging the territory, the GDP stood at approximately $1B; as a result of the monster storms, the GDP drop to 50% or to approx $500M. The approximately 2% up tick/growth would raise the GDP to approx $510M, if my math is corrrect. Still quite a way to go to get back to the $1B and beyond. As such, government must continue with the policies, programmes and actions to rebuild, sustain and diversify the economy and boost the GDP.

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
    • Not quite correct says:

      The article did not say that the GDP fell by 50 percent — Tourist arrivals fell by 50 percent. Infact, I believe GDP actually only fell by less than 10 percent in 2017. Remember the storms came in September so only about 1 quarter of GDP fell off, yet some of it remained because of employers maintaining payroll and all the importation including external aid.

      GDP rising by 2.7 percent therefore cannot be calculated off of a 500million GDP because the GDP did not fall that low in 2017

      We are much closer to the billion mark than your estimated 510 million probably 800 million or more.

      We have to give jack its jacket.. it happened under the NDP government so they should get credit for it.

      Like 3
      Dislike 5
  17. Wow says:

    Some people:” We don’t care that Irma destroyed all the schools and government offices, NDP is to be held accountable for it!”

    CDB Announcement: “BVI’s GDP increase, due in part to reconstruction efforts after Irma!”

    Same people: “Yes the GDP increase is good but it has nothing to do with NDP, NDP shouldn’t get any praises, it was caused by Irma!”

    Do these people realize how they sound? When Irma makes NDP look bad it’s NDP. When the reconstruction due to Irma causes some positive movements in our GDP, it’s not NDP, it’s Irma. Thank God the people of the BVI have brains and will not be fooled like they were fooled in 2007 with the nasty lies. Myron, Mark and others were out after Irma looking for people, helping people even when they themselves had damage. These johnny and jane come latelies talking about they want to represent people, where were they when the people NEEDED THEM. WHERE WERE THEY!!!!!????

    Like 12
    Dislike 5

Leave a Comment