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Publication of 2020 GDP and GVA estimates

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Friday 19 November 2021

The publication of first estimates of GDP for 2020 show that Guernsey's economy contracted in real terms by 3% in 2020, significantly less than forecast when measures to address the spread of COVID-19 were first implemented.

Figures show a significant contraction in the sectors most impacted by travel restrictions with a 33% contraction in the Hostelry sector and 22% in the Transport and Storage sector. The reported contraction in Guernsey's largest sector, Financial Services, was smaller at 2%. Real growth is reported in Information and Communication (4%) and Real Estate activities (3%). The Household sector also contributed 3% more than in 2019, due to increasing market values of accommodation.

Deputy Mark Helyar, Treasury lead for the Policy & Resources Committee said:

"The publication of first estimates of GDP confirms the message in the budget that Guernsey's response to COVID-19 has helped to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic. A 3% contraction in our economy, considered in the context of the unprecedented level of disruption the pandemic has caused and relative to contractions in excess of 9% reported in our near neighbours during 2020, is a particularly positive result.

While we continue to offer support to parts of our Hostelry and Transport sectors, current indications are that Guernsey will have recovered most, if not all, of this activity during 2021 and continuing into 2022.

But however well we have coped with the relatively short-term impact of the pandemic, a far greater long-term financial challenge remains which we must still address. From the point of view of funding public services, including reasonable health and care services for Islanders as they get older, the impact of the pandemic will seem small compared to the funding gap created by our changing demographics. The cost of supporting the Bailiwick through this crisis has only made the need to address these issues more pressing."

GDP and GVA statistics are long-established measures used to estimate levels of economic activity in a given time period and these are supported by a wide range of other statistics available at www.gov.gg/data. These statistics are used to monitor the States' progress towards achieving the outcomes of the Government Work Plan.

The production of GDP and GVA statistics is subject to a programme of continuous improvement to ensure their accuracy.

Helen Walton, Head of Data and Analysis said:

"GDP is used not only to measure the economy itself, but as a part of other measures which help us monitor progress in achieving our environmental, social and fiscal outcomes. In parallel with the calculation of 2020 estimates of GDP, we piloted an economic activity return this year, which we hope to launch fully next year once it has been refined. A stratified sample of employers will be required to complete a return each year. It will ask for some information that is currently not collected by the States but is needed if we are to provide more accurate and timely first estimates of GDP. We'll contact employers with more details on this early next year."

The new publication is available at https://gov.gg/gdp.

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