flag Cayman Islands Cayman Islands: Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

The Cayman Islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. With no direct taxation, the islands are a thriving offshore financial center. Over the last twenty years, the Cayman Islands have experienced rapid growth in almost all sectors, especially in banking, insurance, and offshore management, as well as tourism, financial, and insurance services. According to the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO), economic activity in the Cayman Islands was estimated to have increased by 4% in the first nine months of 2023. The largest positive changes were seen in hotels & restaurants, which grew by 26.4%. This supported growth of 6.7% and 7.7% in the transport storage & communication and the 'other' sector, respectively. The recovery in tourism-related activities coupled with high temperatures in the summer also boosted activities in the electricity and water supply sector by 9.9%. The financing and insurance services sector, the largest contributor to GDP, grew by an estimated 3.1% for the first nine months of the year.

The country’s public finances are healthy: the central government recorded an overall surplus of KYD 72.3 million in the first three quarters of the year. This resulted from revenue of KYD 846.1 million and expenditure of KYD 773.7 million. The central government’s outstanding debt decreased to KYD 469.0 million as of September 2023, compared to KYD 524.4 million recorded as of September 2022. Inflation moderated to an average of 3.9% for the first nine months of 2023 relative to 10.8% in the same period of 2022. The Cayman Islands economy is largely dominated by the services sector (85.1% of GDP), while industry and agriculture have minor shares (8.5% and 0.4%, respectively - World Bank's latest data available). Tourism accounts for a considerable part of GDP and about three-quarters of foreign currency earnings. The financial and insurance services sector are estimated to account for almost one-third of GDP, which correlates with the presence of 85% of the world's hedge funds and over 15,000 mutual funds registered in the country (the Cayman Islands is among the most sophisticated and performing offshore centers in the world). In recent years, the government has reaffirmed its commitment to improving transparency and good governance as well as the fight against tax evasion and money laundering by adopting a framework for fiscal responsibility (FFR). In October 2023, the Cayman Islands was removed from the Financial Action Task Force's "increased monitoring" list, and in January 2024, it was also removed from the European Commission’s Delegated Regulation (EU) 2024163, commonly referred to as the "EU AML List," effective from February 7, 2024.

The residents of the Cayman Islands enjoy a high standard of living (the GDP per capita PPP is estimated at USD 84,279 by the World Bank), but despite the high cost of living, the country does not operate a state-funded welfare system for its citizens. That said, the archipelago enjoys social stability and racial harmony, very little crime, and a stable level of unemployment. Data from the Economics and Statistics Office show that the unemployment rate was projected at 3.3% for 2023 as a whole.

 

 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Cayman Island Dollars (KYD) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GBP n/an/an/an/an/a

- Latest available data.

 

Main Sectors of Industry

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Value Added (in % of GDP) 0.2 27.6 n/a

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database ; World Bank - Latest available data.

 
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2024

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