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International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A technical assistance (TA) mission on external sector statistics (ESS) was conducted to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Saint Lucia as part of the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) work program on ESS. The mission focused on addressing data compilation issues on trade in goods—especially on the import and re-export of fuel—and travel credits and assessed the revised 2022 balance of payments that was disseminated in December 2023.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) focuses on efficient, sustainable, and fair pension schemes. Despite recent reform efforts, the financial sustainability of the ECCU’s defined benefit social security schemes remains under strain, largely reflecting the still relatively low contributions and generous payouts. This, coupled with a rapidly ageing population and high labor market informality, increases the need for a comprehensive review and adoption of further parametric and non-parametric reforms of the pension systems to avoid abrupt and more sizable adjustments in the future as well as to reduce the risks of old-age poverty. This annex reviews pension schemes in the ECCU, with a focus on assessing their design and performance and identifying policy options to improve their efficiency, fairness, and sustainability. Key recommendations include swift adoption of further comprehensive reforms to address design weaknesses, improving coverage, investment strategy, administrative efficiency, and transparency, and establishing automatic adjustment mechanisms.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The 2024 Article IV Consultation with member countries on common policies of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) discusses that the economies have registered a strong recovery after successive external shocks. Fiscal and external balances have improved, but public debt and current account deficits remain high. The financial system has been stable and liquid, although it continues to be confronted with asset quality weaknesses and rising risks in the non-bank financial sector. Longstanding structural challenges affecting private investment and employment create a drag on growth going forward. The regional priority is to rebuild buffers while protecting the fiscal space for priority public investment and social spending. Social policies and institutional labor market reforms would help improve competitiveness by addressing structural constraints to employment and labor productivity. Concerted efforts to address gaps in core economic data improve transparency and strengthen resource capacity for data collection would support calibration of economic policies.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The 2023 Article IV Consultation highlights that St. Lucia’s tourist-dependent economy has rebounded strongly after the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and the commodity import price shock due to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Output is currently near the pre-pandemic level, while higher government revenue has narrowed the fiscal deficit. The gross domestic product growth projection in 2023, at 3.2 percent, is lower than 2022 as tourism demand continues the recovery and the economy approaches the existing production capacity. Afterward, it is projected to gradually decline toward a potential rate of 1.5 percent in the medium-term. With output approaching full recovery, the priority is to start rebuilding fiscal and financial buffers and place public debt on a solid downward trend, anchored on the regional debt ceiling, through growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and fiscal rules. In the banking sector, it is important to reach full compliance with the regional central bank’s provisioning requirements. The momentum of reforms to address disincentives to bank lending should be maintained by passing legislation to expedite loan collateral appropriation. Draft legislation to strengthen the regulation and supervision of credit unions should be passed, and the planned asset quality review carried forward.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A technical assistance (TA) mission on external sector statistics (ESS) was conducted to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Saint Lucia as part of the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) work program on ESS. The mission focused on improving key source data with the objective to strengthen the compilation of the balance of payments and the international investment position (IIP) statistics. The mission also provided practical advice during its review of the provisional 2021 balance of payments and IIP statistics, which were released in December 2022.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper presents the technical assistance report on remote national accounts mission in St. Lucia. The improved estimates will improve the understanding of the Saint Lucia economy, notably the needs of the Ministry of Finance for more robust and timely national accounts statistics. This development will also help Saint Lucia meet the IMF Special Data Dissemination Standards requirements. Training has been provided on the different components of Gross Domestic Product by expenditure (GDP-E) for current price methods and price and volume measurement. The mission identified some research topics for the national accounts department as part of its development of GDP-E. This includes checking the quality of some indicators and identifying whether some sources are available at a lower level of detail. The mission also quality assured the current methods used for compiling accommodation in the production measure of GDP. In order to support progress toward the objectives, the mission recommended priority recommendations to make headway in improving Saint Lucia’s national accounts.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
At the request of the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission (ECSRC), a Monetary and Capital Markets (MCM) Department mission conducted a review of a draft version of the new Investment Funds Regulations (IFR) and Securities Regulations (SR) form May 20–June 30, 2022. The two sets of regulations are a key part of the new regime to govern the capital markets in the member territories of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The St. Lucian economy is confronted with significant challenges from consecutive external shocks. While still recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to an output collapse in 2020 and 2021 mainly due to a halt in tourism, the war in Ukraine is adding inflation and balance of payments pressures given the dependence on fuel and food imports.