Jersey economy shrinks for fifth consecutive year

Jersey's economy has hit its lowest level for at least 15 years.

The 2012 figures, published earlier, show economic activity decreased for the fifth year in a row.

Finance was still the main contributor to the measure of Gross Value Added (40.2%) but even this sector had shrunk by almost a third since 2008.

Senator Alan MacLean, the economic development minister, said the outlook for 2013 looked more positive and that recovery was imminent.

The report from the States' statistics unit showed the "real terms" measure of GVA (allowing for the underlying rate of inflation) decreased by 4% to £2.78bn during 2012.

'Widely spread decline'

This compares to a peak of £3.33bn in 2007 and is the lowest figure since at least 1998.

The measure was adopted by the island's government in 2003 and equivalent figures going back to 1998 have also been calculated.

John Boothman, the chairman of finance company Aztec Group, said he was very disappointed with the figures.

"Most of us were looking to see either a small improvement or a small decline but a decline on this scale, coming on top of several years of decline, is very disappointing indeed and it seems to be widely spread around the economy," he said.

Each separately-listed sector saw a drop, apart from hotels, restaurants and bars, which rose by 3%.

Economic activity relating to electricity, gas and water shrank by 18%, while manufacturing and wholesale/retail was down by 9%.

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