Maldives' QGDP declines by 5.9 percent in Q1

Tourists at Velana International Airport. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The quarterly national accounts report released by the National Bureau of Statistics shows a - 5.9 percent decline in QGDP in the first quarter of this year, when compared to the first quarter of last year.

The records, released by the National Bureau of Statistics last Saturday, shows the Real GDP for Q1 2020 is estimated at MVR 18.6 billion, compared to the MVR 19.8 billion in Q1 2019.

The decline in QGDP has been attributed to the negative contribution to growth from the tourism sector, construction sector, and wholesale and retail sector.

Growth in tourism sector declined by -2.7 percent, in construction industry by -1.4 percent, and in wholesale and retail sector by -1.0 percent.

The Maldivian economy is dominated by tourism sector, and growth in the sector usually improves in Q1 and Q4, which falls in peak seasons for the tourism sector, and is usually reflected on the GDP growth rate.

But where the QGDP in Q1 2019 had shown a positive growth of 3.2 percent, the QGDP in Q1 2020 shows a negative growth of -5.9 percent.

The GVA (Gross Value Added) of tourism sector in Q1 2020 was recorded at MVR 4.93 billion. The figure is a -10.3 percent decline compared to Q1 2019, and a -6.5 percent decline compared to Q4 2019.

The decline in GVA has been attributed to the decrease in tourist bed-night in Q1, which dropped by 0.15 million compared to Q4 2019.

26.5 percent of the Real GDP in Q1 2020 was contributed by the tourism sector, while the communications and transport sector shared 13.4 percent, and the public administration sector shared 8.7 percent.

A quarterly comparison of the quarterly GDP growth rate shows a - 6.4 percent decline in Q1 2020 compared to Q4 2019, and a -5.9 percent decline compared to Q1 2019.