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Olga Bespalova
This paper improves short-term forecasting models of monthly tourism arrivals by estimating and evaluating a time-series model with exogenous regressors (ARIMA-X) using a case of Aruba, a small open tourism-dependent economy. Given importance of the US market for Aruba, it investigates informational value of Google Searches originating in the USA, flight capacity utilization on the US air-carriers, and per capita demand of the US consumers, given the volatility index in stock markets (VIX). It yields several insights. First, flight capacity is the best variable to account for the travel restrictions during the pandemic. Second, US real personal consumption expenditure becomes a more significnat predictor than income as the former better captured impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on the consumers’ behavior, while income boosted by the pandemic fiscal support was not fully directed to spending. Third, intercept correction improves the model in the estimation period. Finally, the pandemic changed econometric relationships between the tourism arrivals and their main determinants, and accuracy of the forecast models. Going forward, the analysts should re-estimate the models. Out-of-sample forecasts with 5 percent confidence intervals are produced for 18 months ahead.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes sustaining potential growth in Aruba. As in the other Caribbean countries, there are growing concerns in Aruba about the slowdown in economic growth over the past two decades and the consequent tepid outlook for potential growth. Tackling such concerns requires identifying the underlying factors. This paper presents an overview of Aruba’s economic growth performance since 1990, analyzes factors behind the slowdown, and discusses how potential growth can be sustained. It suggests that Aruba should aim to finance its renewable energy and other future growth initiatives sustainably.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix for Netherlands Antilles examines the economic growth in Small Island Economies. The paper finds that the Small Island Economies as a group grew faster than the rest of the world during 1960–85. The paper analyzes whether Small Island Economies respond to the same set of growth determinants as other economies, and concludes that growth is determined by the same factors and macroeconomic policy choices. The paper presents possible economic challenges that Small Island Economies might face owing to their size.