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GDP hits negative 27 percent with expenses double the income

Shahudha Mohamed
11 January 2021, MVT 08:37
Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA)'s main office building in capital Male. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
11 January 2021, MVT 08:37

Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), revealed that Maldives racked up a deficit of MVR 15 billion in 2020, with an expenditure of MVR 30.6 billion in comparison to an income of MVR 14 billion.

Ministry of Finance had initially projected that island nation's economy will contract to negative 29 percent at the worst case scenario due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As travel restrictions in 2020 cut off the main source of income for Maldives which is heavily reliant on its tourism industry, the country's GDP declined by a whopping 51.6 percent in the second quarter of last year.

Throughout 2020, the country's productivity fell from MVR 86 billion to MVR 57 billion, with the tourism sector's growth taking a backseat, contracting by 78 percent.

In addition to tourism, the construction, business, travel and communications sectors also suffered the pandemic's consequences.

In early 2020, the World Bank estimated that Maldives will be the economically worst-hit country due to COVID-19 in South East Asia.

Although the government kicked last year off with an ambitious aim of generating a profit of MVR 29 billion, the country fell short due to the unforeseen circumstances of the pandemic, which badly affected the import-export as well.

The state had resorted to managing its expenses in 2020 by selling T-bills and securing loans from foreign countries.

Although the GDP had seen a sharp decline during last year, MMA estimates that the country will generate MVR 66 billion in 2021.

With the opening of its borders on July 15, the country has launched several promotional activities to attract tourists and stabilise the tourism sector.

The state's efforts resulted in an impressive recovery curve, with many resorts and guesthouses reportedly filling up at the usual peak season.

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