Upward climb in 2022: Seychelles' economy grew by 8.4 percent
In 2022, the number of visitors to Seychelles was 82 percent higher than in 2021. (Gerard Larose)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles' economy grew by 8.4 percent in 2022, according to the annual report of the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS).
"Preliminary estimations show that Seychelles economy did well in 2022, which was a result of the good performance of the tourism sector, despite concerns early in the year with regards to the impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine," said the senior economist at the CBS, Audrey Rath, in a presentation on Thursday.
In 2022, the number of visitors to Seychelles was 82 percent higher than in 2021 and accounted for the total revenue from tourism activities of $932 million.
"This also meant that there was an increase in the amount of foreign currency received in the country, especially in the second half of the year," added Rath.
Other factors that contributed to Seychelles' economic recovery include sustained inflow of foreign exchange, the strengthening of the Seychelles rupee, expansion in output by various sectors and the moderation in inflationary pressures.
Rath also spoke of the relaxed monetary policy stance that the CBS took in 2022, which saw an expansion in private sector credit, driven by local currency loans, along with housing mortgages and telecommunications.
"The biggest credit allocation went to housing loans, which increased by 15 percent in 2022, which amounts to $17 million (SCR222 million) compared to 2021," added Rath.
CBS noted that Seychelles was still affected by external factors, including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China, global commodity prices and soaring inflation in many economies.
Meanwhile, government spending was 9.1 percent lower than what had been predicted and in terms of revenue, the sum collected at the end of the year was 4.5 percent below what was expected.
"The lower-than-expected revenue was as a result of a reduction in the amount of revenue that the government got through grants and lower than projected revenue collection through taxes," explained Rath.
Seychelles also managed to reduce its debt per GDP ratio in 2022, where in 2021 it was at an alarming 92 percent of GDP, but gradually reduced to reach 65 percent of GDP in 2022.
By the end of 2022, Seychelles' gross international reserves amounted to $639 million, which is a reduction of $63 million compared to 2021.
"It should be noted that money from the reserves was used mostly to repay the country's debts," said Rath.