Western Hemisphere > Trinidad and Tobago

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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper takes stock of St. Lucia’s plans to manage climate change, from the perspective of their macroeconomic implications, and suggests macro-relevant reforms that could strengthen the likelihood of success of the national strategy. To meet its renewable energy plans, St. Lucia will need to mobilize private investment. External assistance will be needed to develop supporting infrastructure. Building capacity for project assessment and investment promotion is a high priority, to shape needed investments into bankable projects. Elsewhere, capacity-building would be most useful to help cost sectoral plans, complete the disaster-preparedness strategy, move toward carbon taxation, and strengthen skills in public investment management and public financial management.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept., International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept, International Monetary Fund. European Dept., International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept., International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept., International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department, and International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This guidance note highlights the unique economic characteristics and constraints facing small developing states. It provides operational guidance on Fund engagement with such countries, including on how small state characteristics might shape Fund surveillance and financial support, program design, capacity building activities, and collaboration with other institutions and donors. The note updates the previous version that was published in May 2014. It incorporates modifications resulting from Board papers and related Executive Board discussions that have taken place since the March 2013 Board papers on small states, which provided the foundations of the original guidance note. Based on these inputs, five key thematic areas (G.R.O.W.TH.) have been identified as central to the policy dialogue: • Growth and job creation. With small states experiencing relatively weak growth since the 1990s, Fund staff working on small states should ensure an explicit focus on growth in both surveillance and program-related work. • Resilience to shocks. Small states experience higher macroeconomic volatility and more frequent natural disasters. Staff should be ready to advise on how to tailor macroeconomic policies to provide greater resilience to shocks and climate change. • Overall competitiveness. Options to improve relative prices may include exchange rate adjustment (where possible) or measures supportive of internal devaluation (if not), and efforts to improve the business climate, including through regional initiatives. • Workable fiscal and debt sustainability options. With many small states having very high debt burdens, reducing debt to manageable levels requires sustained fiscal consolidation with supporting policies and structural reforms. In cases where the amount of adjustment needed to restore debt sustainability is not feasible or adequate financing is not available, debt restructuring may be needed. • Thin financial sectors. Developing deeper and more competitive, yet sound, financial sectors contributes to macroeconomic stability and enhances the effectiveness of policy interventions while strengthening competitiveness by improving business access to financial services.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ recovery from the global financial crisis was hampered by a series of natural disasters, sluggish global demand, and slow implementation of key infrastructure projects. Economic activity appears to have recovered in 2015, led by strong tourism inflows and a rebound in construction. Inflation has trended down owing to falling food and fuel prices. The new airport, now foreseen for completion in 2016, is expected to sustain the near- and medium-term economic growth. Real GDP is projected to expand by 2.2 percent in 2016 and reach 3.1 percent over the medium term.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ economic recovery from the global economic crisis has been curbed by a series of significant natural disasters. These, combined with the economic downturn following the global financial crisis, have prevented the economy from returning to its long-term potential real GDP growth. The overall fiscal balance is estimated to have narrowed to 4.75 percent of GDP in 2014. After an estimated 1.1 percent growth rate in 2014, growth is projected to pick up modestly to 2.1 percent in 2015 on improvements in tourism and agriculture and enhanced implementation of much-needed rehabilitation and reconstruction projects.
Mr. Sebastian Acevedo Mejia
This paper seeks to determine the effects that natural disasters have on per capita GDP and on the debt to GDP ratio in the Caribbean. Two types of natural disasters are studied –storms and floods– given their prevalence in the region, while considering the effects of both moderate and severe disasters. I use a vector autoregressive model with exogenous natural disasters shocks, in a panel of 12 Caribbean countries over a period of 40 years. The results show that both storms and floods have a negative effect on growth, and that debt increases with floods but not with storms. However, in a subsample I find that storms significantly increase debt in the short and long run. I also find weak evidence that debt relief contributes to ease the negative effects of storms on debt.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents background on Caribbean small states as context for the main paper, “Macroeconomic Issues in Small States and Implications for Fund Engagement.” It draws on recent analytical work presented at a conference for policy makers in September 2012, in Trinidad and Tobago. Caribbean small states, while sharing many features of other small states (size-related macroeconomic vulnerabilities, lack of economies of scale, and capacity constraints) have specific characteristics which merit attention
International Monetary Fund
The sharp global recession has been taking a toll on the St. Kitts and Nevis economy. The staff report examines the St. Kitts and Nevis 2009 Article IV Consultation and request for Emergency Natural Disaster Assistance. Economic activity has weakened markedly, particularly in tourism and foreign direct investment (FDI)-related construction, the drivers of growth in recent years. The drop-off in tourism receipts, FDI, and other capital flows could lead to a worsening of the balance-of-payments position.
Mr. David Robinson, Mr. Paul Cashin, and Ms. Ratna Sahay

Abstract

This book sets out the economic challenges facing the island nations of the Caribbean and presents policy options to ameliorate external shocks and embark firmly on a sustained growth path. While the countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union that are the focus of the book have enjoyed a sustained period of price and exchange rate stability, they have been buffeted in recent years by adverse shocks, including the erosion of trade preferences, declines in official foreign assistance, and frequent natural disasters. Strengthening their growth performance will require design of a multifaceted strategy that integrates the Caribbean with the global economy, facilitates an economic transformation from agriculture to tourism, fosters greater regional cooperation, and preserves macroeconomic stability. This volume examines the critical issues that are part of that process, including fiscal and financial sector policy, management of external flows, trade integration and tourism, macroeconomic cycles and volatility, and the economic implications of natural disasters.

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes macroeconomic fluctuations in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The paper describes data, along with the estimation technique used to ensure stationarity of the data. The empirical regularities of macroeconomic fluctuations in the ECCU are described, examining the relationship between a set of macroeconomic time series and domestic output, for each of the six IMF members of the ECCU. The paper also explores the determinants of macroeconomic volatility in the ECCU.