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GDP Rises Again 6 October 2004

The Island's gross domestic product rose again in 2002/03, Treasury's latest National Income Accounts reveal, to take Isle of Man per capita national income to 10% above that of the average across the fifteen Member states of the European Union at the time.

The growth rate of 5.9% after allowing for inflationary pressures compares with official Government expectations of 3.5% and means that 2002/03 was the twentieth successive year in which national income and output increased. The report, and more current economic data showing increases in job vacancies and unemployment standing at just 1%, reflect just how well the Island's business community has responded to tightening overseas market conditions resulting from the global economic slowdown and international political uncertainties.

Record highs of output and generated income were posted in 2002/03 in sectors including engineering, financial services, ICT and professional services.

Treasury Minister Allan Bell, MHK, noted that the year had seen the economy expand more than previously expected and commented:

"Given the difficulties and uncertainties arising from the global economic and political situation it would have to be said that the economy performed very well and indeed continues to do so.

"In an era of such great economic change the Island will always be subject to corporate decisions that result in reorganisations, consolidations and restructurings and with such change there is always the prospect of job losses. To date such losses, though always regrettable, have been manageable, and freed staff have generally been able to find alternative employment. Moreover, the Island has continued to see business and well paid employment directed here and as the national income figures and other indicators show it has more than held its own in what is an increasingly competitive global market place.

"For its part, Government will continue to do all it can to ensure that Island-based companies are always on a strong footing in their fight for business. The Economic Strategy to be put before Tynwald for its approval later this month, will show where Government will be focussing its efforts in this regard."

Copies of the report "Isle of Man National Income 2002/03" are available free of charge from the Economic Affairs Division, Illiam Dhone House, 2 Circular Road, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 1PQ, telephone 01624 685743 or the Tynwald Library.

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