International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This IMF Staff Report for the 2016 Discussion on Common Policies of Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) Member Countries highlights that the regional recovery in ECCU is gaining ground, supported by continued low oil prices, strong tourism arrivals, and robust citizenship-by-investment receipts. Risks to the near-term outlook are balanced, but growth in the ECCU continues to be hindered by weak competitiveness, banking sector fragilities, susceptibility to natural disasters, and large public debt. The Executive Directors have encouraged the authorities to press ahead with sound macroeconomic policies and structural reforms to decisively address these issues and strengthen the conditions for robust long term growth.
The Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) countries financial system has increasingly come under stress particularly through weakly supervised nonbank and offshore financial sectors with knock-on effects to domestic banks. The staff report focuses on ECCU’s 2009 discussion on common policies of member countries on economic development and policies. In response, ECCU authorities have accelerated the establishment of national Single Regulatory Units and the passage of harmonized legislation to strengthen then regulation and supervision of nonbanks and offshore institutions.
This paper discusses key findings of the 2006 Regional Discussions on the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. Fiscal revenues have improved, but there has been only a modest improvement in the fiscal and debt positions. Tax revenues have strengthened with the uptick in economic activity, administrative efforts, and tax reforms. The financial system has been resilient, but additional efforts are needed to strengthen the supervisory framework in the face of emerging risks. Progress continues to be made in implementing the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) recommendations, but there is a need to ensure enforcement of the new regulatory framework.
The staff report for the 2004 Regional Surveillance on the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) focuses on the economic developments and near-term prospects. The fiscal position of the governments in the region has deteriorated sharply in recent years and resulted in a marked increase in public sector debt. Efforts in the region have focused on strengthening the supervisory and regulatory regimes in both the domestic banking sector and the offshore financial sector. Enhanced regional cooperation could also help broaden markets and provide opportunities to achieve economies of scale.
This paper reviews the IMF’s discussions with Eastern Caribbean Currency Union’s (ECCU) regional institutions. Discussions focused on the outlook for 2003 and the policy responses needed to arrest the fiscal deterioration and to achieve consolidation over the medium term. Although the short-term outlook for growth appears weak given the external climate, the region can look toward benefits from deeper regional and global integration over the medium term. The IMF staff has also emphasized that structural reforms are needed to improve efficiency, in advance of new trade arrangements.