Commissioner Buncamper says US financial crisis may lead to economic growth forecast review

Commissioner of Economic Affairs Maria Buncamper-Molanus says Government has been monitoring the financial crisis in the United States with great interests and that a revision of the nationâ??s economic growth forecast for 2008 and 2009 may be necessary.

Buncamper-Molanus added that given the potential impact any further softening of the US economy could have on the island as a tourist destination, economic contingency planning would be necessary once all available information from the local tourist industry has been made available for analysis.

Last week, Americaâ??s economy and its financial system took a serious hit with the forced sale of the brokerage firm Merrill Lynch and the dramatic collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers. The US Federal Government has drafted a plan that would be the biggest fiscal intervention in the market economy since the great Depression.  

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"Our tourism-based economy is not immune to events impacting the US economy and we do not now know the extent of the eventual impact on our national economy as the situation day to day remains fluid; however we must make contingency plans to deal with the possible impact once we have all available information in order to make an informed decision.

"With great interest we are monitoring the developments regarding the US bailout as this will affect the global financial markets besides Wall Street. This week the US Congress and Senate are expected to pass the package of measures and this development itself could lead to positive changes when it comes to persons in the US making holiday travel plans for the upcoming season.

"We must be prudent and calculated in determining our response to the global financial challenges that all nations are facing and monitor very closely how this will influence our local economy," Commissioner of Economic Affairs Maria Buncamper-Molanus told the Government Information Service (GIS).