This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix explores four policy issues—fiscal policy, public sector pension reforms, monetary management, and labor market performance—which are crucial for understanding the recent performance of the economy of the Netherlands Antilles and which will need to be addressed to restore the prospect of durable economic growth. The paper reviews experience with fiscal adjustment in the Netherlands Antilles, focusing in particular on the 1996–97 adjustment program. The paper also analyzes the sustainability of the public pension system of the country.
This paper reviews economic developments in the Netherlands Antilles during 1990–96. The economic situation started deteriorating significantly since the early 1990s. Economic growth slackened, mainly reflecting weak investment and a sharp drop in tourist arrivals in 1995–96 owing to hurricane damage. The underlying external position deteriorated progressively, and reserves fell to an uncomfortably low level. The major factors behind the deterioration were occasional slippages in monetary policy and persistently large fiscal deficits that had their roots in a rapid growth of personnel costs.