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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

and re-disseminated by STA in the IMF publications (IFS and BOBSY). CARTAC continues assisting ECCU member’s countries in strengthening the compilation framework of the ESS and dissemination of statistics mainly through enhancing the coverage, methodology and the quality of prioritized balance of payments components with the incorporation of a wider variety of data sources to supplement business surveys, which response rates are not satisfactory yet. The CSO accesses to relevant tax information from the Inland Revenue Department. . Travel credits estimates are based

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

through enhancing the coverage, methodology, and the quality of prioritized balance of payments components with the incorporation of a wider variety of data sources to supplement business surveys. NSOs of most of ECCU member countries have access to relevant tax information available at the country’s inland revenue department. Supported by CARTAC, increased number of NSOs and/or the tourism authorities conduct sound visitor expenditure surveys (VES). 2 Furthermore, recent CARTAC TA is assisting in addressing compilation issues—some of them have been aggravated by the

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

the ECCU region following the BPM6 guidelines . Data for 2014 onwards are available on the ECCB’s website and re-disseminated in the IMF’s Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook (BOPSY) and International Financial Statistics (IFS) . CARTAC continues assisting ECCU member’s countries in strengthening the compilation framework of the ESS and dissemination of statistics mainly through enhancing the coverage, methodology, and the quality of prioritized balance of payments components with the incorporation of a wider variety of data sources to supplement business

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

) and International Financial Statistics (IFS) . CARTAC has continued assisting ECCU member countries in strengthening the compilation framework of the ESS and dissemination of statistics mainly through improving the timeliness of data and enhancing the coverage, methodology, and the quality of prioritized balance of payments components with the incorporation of a wider variety of data sources to supplement business surveys. NSOs of most of ECCU member countries have access to relevant tax information available at the country’s inland revenue department. Supported by

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

central government and public sector external debt on its website. CARTAC continues assisting ECCU members in strengthening compilation frameworks. Responding to data needs for tourism-oriented economies, the CARTAC TA has assisted in improving capacity within the national statistics offices (NSOs) and the tourism authorities to implement sound visitor expenditure surveys (VES). 4 CARTAC is also assisting in enhancing the quality of prioritized balance of payments components with the incorporation of a wider variety of sources, including administrative data. As data

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation explains that St. Lucia’s near-term growth prospects are favorable, supported by large infrastructure investment and robust tourist inflows. However, longer-term growth continues to be impeded by high public debt, lingering vulnerabilities in the financial system, and structural impediments to private investment. Diminishing policy buffers further weaken the country’s resilience to external shocks against the backdrop of aprecarious global outlook. Completion of long pending legislative initiatives, alongside stronger regional and domestic financial oversight, should provide banks with incentives to strengthen their balance sheets and increase the efficiency of financial intermediation. There is also a need to draw on supervisory and regulatory tools to respond to emerging risks from rising overseas investments of the banks and the rapid expansion of lending by credit unions. The authorities are recommended to should step up efforts to address the institutional, financing and capacity gaps in its climate and disaster response strategy. Supply-side reforms are needed to unlock potential growth by improving the business environment, reducing energy costs, enhancing labor productivity, and further diversifying the economy.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The fallout from the COVID-19 crisis is hitting ECCU economies hard. Tourism receipts (accounting for nearly 40 percent of GDP) have dried up, as tourist arrivals have come to a grinding halt. The authorities successfully contained the spread of the virus at the onset of the pandemic by largely closing the borders, but a reopening of the economies since the summer has led to a surge in COVID cases. The ECCU economy is projected to contract by 16 percent in 2020 and by a further near ½ percent in 2021. Fiscal positions have deteriorated sharply, and public debt is projected to reach near 90 percent of GDP in 2021 and remain at an elevated level for years to come. Headline indicators suggest the financial system is relatively sound with ample liquidity buffers, but nonperforming loans are expected to rise significantly. The outlook is clouded by exceptionally high risks, including from the uncertainty concerning the evolution of the pandemic.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper presents IMF’s 2019 Discussion on Common Policies of Member Countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). ECCU’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth accelerated from 3/4 percent in 2017 to 3 3/4 percent in 2018, reflecting buoyancy in the tourism sector, sizable Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) inflows, and a recovery from the 2017 hurricanes in Anguilla and Dominica, which were supported by large public investments in reconstruction. Fiscal deficits increased in 2018–2019, but they have remained moderate. Efforts are needed to streamline, and re-balance tax incentives based on clear principles consistent with international best practices. External imbalances are sizable and significant financial sector vulnerabilities affect both banks and non-banks. Growth is projected to gradually moderate toward its long-term average of 2 1/4 percent as the cyclical momentum normalizes and CBI inflows ease. These trends would also contribute to wider fiscal deficits, ending the downward drift in public debt dynamics. The outlook is clouded by downside risks, including a possible intensification of natural disasters and financial sector weaknesses.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
With ECCU economies slowly emerging from the pandemic with scars, the impact of the war in Ukraine is a setback to the nascent recovery. Higher food and energy prices, amid ongoing supply disruptions and intra-regional transportation bottlenecks, are raising inflation, eroding income, lowering output growth, worsening fiscal and external positions, and threatening food and energy security. As a result, inflation is expected to hover over 5½ percent in 2022. Real GDP is projected to grow by 7½ percent in 2022, leaving output still well below the pre-pandemic level. Fiscal deficits are projected to remain sizable, given continued pandemic- and disaster-related spending and temporary support to address rising living costs, thereby keeping gross financing needs and public debt at elevated levels in the near term. The financial system has remained broadly stable so far, with adequate capital and liquidity buffers, but nonperforming loans remain high and could rise further following the expiration of the ECCB’s loan moratoria program. The outlook is subject to large downside risks, primarily from further increases in commodity prices and new COVID variants amid vaccine hesitancy, in addition to the ever-present threat of natural disasters.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2018 discussion on common policies of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) highlights that the member countries are gradually recovering following the catastrophic impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Conditions remain favorable to growth, however, risks are increasing. The fiscal balance for the region as a whole worsened in 2017, reflecting lower inflows from citizenship-by-investment programs and higher reconstruction and current spending. The IMF team made several policy recommendations including shifting focus from the current emphasis on recovery from natural disasters to building ex-ante resilience. The report also recommends intensifying decisive and timely actions to resolve weaknesses in the financial sector, including longstanding problems in the banking sector and emerging risks in the non-banking sector. The authorities expressed commitment to the acceleration of key reforms to upgrade and strengthen the financial sector regional oversight framework. In addition to fiscal consolidation, injecting new vigor into the structural policy agenda will help enhance competitiveness and make growth more inclusive.