Bermuda imports increased by 12 per cent to $248.8 million in five of the nine local commodity groups in the first quarter of this year.

According to the latest Quarterly Bulletin of Statistics: “The largest increase was recorded in the finished equipment commodity group which rose $12.9 million due partly to imports of vehicle parts and orthopedic appliances.

“Imports of machinery increased $11.1 million due mostly to higher imports of telephone equipment. Transport equipment rose $5.5 million with more cars and boats imported, while a rise in beverage imports contributed to a $3.1 million increase in the food, beverages and tobacco group.”

Q1 2017 Hightlights:

  • Imports from the all other countries category rose $11.9 million and reflected higher imports from nations competing in the America’s Cup sailing event such as Japan, France and New Zealand. Imports from the US rose $10.8 million while imports from the Caribbean increased $6.1 million. In contrast, imports from the UK slipped $0.4 million while imports from Canada declined $1.7 million.

Employment Income by Industry:

  • Employment income increased 2.2 per cent or $20.1 million. The business services sector recorded the largest nominal increase in remuneration of $3.9 million due mostly to bonuses. The construction sector recorded a $2.8 million increase in employment income reflecting higher employee numbers, salaries and wages. In the “all other” category, which represents a combination of all other unspecified categories, growth in employment income of medical and health service workers was the largest contributing factor to the $7.1 million rise. Among other industries, a $3 million rise was recorded for the international business sector. The wholesale and retail sector and hotels and restaurants sector recorded increases of $2.2 million each.

Arrivals & Expenditure:

  • The island hosted 36,752 air visitors during the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 14 per cent year-over-year. Estimated total expenditure by air visitors increased 21.7 per cent to $45.6 million when compared to the same period of 2016. Visitors spent $6 million more on accommodation and food, while expenditure on shopping, entertainment and transport services was $2.1 million higher.
  • A total of nine cruise ships visited the Island carrying 9,282 passengers. Total expenditure for these passengers was estimated at $1 million. In comparison, $0.4 million was spent by 3,314 cruise visitors during the same period in 2016.

Hotel Accommodations:

  • At the end of January 2017, there were 2,302 workers employed within the hotel industry. The level of employment increased by 23 employees, representing 47 additional non-Bermudians and 24 less Bermudians.
  • Hotel gross receipts totaled $44.6 million. This represented an increase of 20.7 per cent or $7.7 million. Of the total gain in receipts, $3.7 million was attributed to an increase in room sales. Overseas Declarations by Residents declined 7.0 percent to $11.2 million. Lower levels of overseas spending were declared for eight of the nine commodity groupings with the largest percentage decrease of 26 per cent reported for the ‘jewelry and watches’ category.