Data from the Central Statistical Office (CSO) indicated that real GDP grew by 3.0 percent (year-on-year) in the first quarter of 2023 reflecting strong expansion in the non-energy sector (4.2 percent) accompanied by marginal growth in the energy sector (0.3 percent).” In the second quarter of 2023, indicators pointed to a steady rise in activity in major non-energy sectors including transportation and storage, wholesale and retail trade (excluding energy), electricity and water (excluding gas), and construction. Unemployment rose from 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022 to 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2023. Unemployment rose from 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022 to 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2023.
The CB report indicated that headline inflation fell from 8.7 percent in December 2022, to 6.0 percent in April 2023, to 5.7 percent in May 2023, the September report now indicated 4.7 percent in July and then 4.1 percent in August 2023 (year-on-year). The current report said, “The deceleration in headline inflation came from slower price movements in food as core inflation remained unchanged.
“Food inflation slowed to 5.6 percent while core inflation (which excludes food items) remained at 3.7 percent.” In contrast, the June report had indicated previous double-digit food-price inflation, which fell from 17.3 percent in December 2022, to 11.2 percent in April 2023, to 9.7 percent in May 2023, and is now reported at 4.7 percent.
In its deliberations on international developments, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Band noted the continued uncertainty on the global inflation front and the impact that future monetary tightening may have on the TT/US interest differential.