Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) revealed that the rate of economic growth recorded in the first six months of 2019 was slower than figures recorded in the previous year.
As per the central bank's Quarterly Bulletin, Maldives experienced a growth rate of 3.1 percent in the first half of 2019 compared to 4.7 percent in the first six months of 2018.
Overall economic growth for 2019 is expected to reach 5.4 percent. In 2018, annual economic growth was recorded at 7.5 percent.
The impact of lagging rates is observable in several businesses including wholesalers and retailers. Progress within the construction industry also fell behind in the period.
Former Minister of Finance and economic expert Ahmed Munawar stated that the slowdown in growth rate would not constitute a cause of significant concern unless the pattern repeated itself.
He revealed that growth rates were most likely weaker due to the recent decline in the construction industry which flourished in the past five years. The former finance minister stated that the impacts of fewer construction projects being launched would be visible at a time when previously initiated projects were being successfully concluded.
However, he noted that progress in the tourism sector was a good sign considering its overall contribution to the Maldivian economy. According to estimates, growth in the tourism sector is set to reach 18 percent by the end of 2019.
Tourism accounts for 27.9 percent of Maldives' GDP while transport and communication services contribute 13 percent. Construction constitutes six percent and the overall contribution of wholesalers and retailers is eight percent.