Economy of Guadeloupe in 2023: Mixed and wait-and-see activity, according to IEDOM

Economy of Guadeloupe in 2023: Mixed and wait-and-see activity, according to IEDOM
Economy of Guadeloupe in 2023: Mixed and wait-and-see activity, according to IEDOM

The year 2023 in Guadeloupe was marked first of all by a rising inflation, which increased to 3.9% from 3.6% on average in 2022. This development is mainly due to the increase in the prices of energy (+7.8% on annual average) and food (+5.2%). However, to contain it, “ local initiatives have been put in place such as the “energy boost” system (by the Guadeloupe Region in October 2023) to help the most vulnerable households cope with rising energy costs », notes the IEDOM. Furthermore, specifies this organization, the Price Quality Shield has extended “ to a wider range of products in mass distribution, aiming to reduce the overall price of consumer baskets by 2 to 4% “.

In this context, the job market remained sluggish and household consumption declined. The unemployment rate remains at a high level, 19% compared to 7% for the whole of France, and the number of job offers decreased by 4.2% over one year. Even if private salaried employment saw a slight increase of 0.5%, “ business leaders still encounter recruitment difficulties in the distribution, logistics and construction sectors », Underlines the study. Inflation has weighed on the consumption of the most vulnerable households, and “ the number of over-indebtedness cases reaches a record level (543, or +9.7% in 2023) “.

At the sectoral level, “ activity in the commerce sector is maintained with a turnover of 5.6 billion euros in 2023, down slightly (-0.4%, compared to +7.1% in 2022) », notes the IEDOM. VAT collection, based on the sale of goods and services, recorded significant growth of 14.3% over the year. However, this development must be qualified if we consider the 5.7% reduction in the collection of dock dues, linked to the importation of goods. The construction sector, for its part, recorded a significant increase in its turnover (+22% after 4% in 2022), driven in particular by the continued increase in material costs, which also raises concerns among professionals.

In 2023, tourism activity continues its recovery “, notes the report, “ with a significant increase in accommodation and catering turnover, which increases by 13.4% after an increase of 53.5% in 2022. The impact of the COVID-19 epidemic having almost disappeared, tourist customers are making a comeback “. The number of passengers excluding transit at Pôle Caraibes airport increased by 4% year-on-year and the number of hotel nights exceeded its 2019 level (+0.7%). Reservations have increased as have the number of cruises. Players in the sector remain confident, but remain attentive to the evolution of plane ticket prices due to inflation and oil prices, indicates the IEDOM.

In the agri-food sector, we are observing a slowdown in activity, “with imports and exports up 1.5% and 2.5% respectively (compared to 22% and 8.6% in 2022) ». The 2023 sugar harvest, however, increases by 9% compared to the previous year, to 457.6 thousand tonnes of cane in 2023 (+0.8% compared to 2021). “ Agricultural rum exports decreased by 1.2% after a sharp increase in 2022. In value terms, banana exports are stabilizing after a decline in 2022, while slaughterings in the meat sector remain in decline. Despite a slight improvement, the financial situation of the primary sector remains fragile, with an increase in production costs », Specifies the study.

What are the prospects for this year 2024? The IEDOM remains cautious. The construction, commercial services and tourism sectors have encouraging positions, with, for the latter, cruise projects scheduled at +10% for the 2024/2025 season compared to the previous season. The cane sector, for its part, faces persistent challenges, in particular due to tensions around the price of a tonne. “ Public investment could play a central role in 2024 to stimulate the economy », concludes the IEDOM. “ To boost the local economy, increased investments in the energy transition, strengthening the competitiveness of businesses and even regional integration with neighbors are necessary to guarantee sustainable growth.. »

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