The following statement was released on March 3, 2023, by Opposition Leader & Shadow Minister of Finance, Cole Simons– One Bermuda Alliance…

Minister of Economy & Labour, Jason Hayward needs to be honest with the people of Bermuda and stop misleading them.  His recent assertions that he believes the economic outlook for Bermuda is favourable is sheer fantasy.   

How can Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director at the International Monetary Fund, and other well respected leading economists all predict that 2023 will be ‘tougher’ than last year, as the US EU and China all see their economies slowing down, due to o the war in Ukraine, rising prices, higher interest rates and the spread of COVID in China?  These are facts.  How then can Minister Hayward stand behind his statement that despite Bermuda’s third quarter retraction of 5 percent, expect economic growth of 4 percent. Growth?!  

The IMF actually expects that one third of the world economy to be in recession, and that even for countries that are not in recession, it will feel like recession for hundreds of millions of people.

Is Bermuda the exception?  

As a reminder, at the local level, survey results from the RG’s Business Barometer Survey, published in mid-January indicate that only one third of businesses are confident in Bermuda’s economic future. Their biggest concern is the cost of doing business and supply chain issues, which are reported to have significantly worsened in the last 12 months. While three-quarters of respondents stated that their business premises costs have increased, one-fifth state that they anticipate moving in the coming year. 

For consumers, due to cost-of-living increases in Bermuda, 71 percent of people surveyed say they are now going without or have had to buy less to survive, and sadly, the number of applications for financial assistance continues to grow at an unsustainable rate, as more than 2250 people now depend on government for financial assistance.

Jason Hayward is overly optimistic. One questions his reasoning and the quality of data which he uses.