Maldives’ QGDP Declines by 5.9 Percent in the First Quarter of 2020

The quarterly national accounts report publicized by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows a decline of 5.9 percent in QGDP during the first quarter of 2020, in comparison to the first quarter of 2019.

The statistics revealed by the NBS last Saturday, indicates the real GDP for (First Quarter) Q1 2020 has been estimated at a value of MVR 18.6 billion, compared to the MVR 19.8 billion in Q1 2019.

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

Growth in the tourism sector has declined by -2.7 percent, construction industry by -1.4 percent, and wholesale and retail sector by -1.0 percent in the first quarter of this year.

The Maldivian economy is derived mainly by the tourism sector, and growth in the sector usually improves in Q1 and Q4, which are the 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 the 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 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.

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