Thu | Sep 21, 2017

S&P says Curaçao’s economic outlook remains stable

Published:Friday | April 1, 2016 | 4:00 AM

The credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has affirmed Curaçao's economic outlook as stable.

The agency affirmed its A-/A-2 long- and short-term foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings on the government of Curaçao. It also affirmed the "A-transfer and convertibility assessment" in the Dutch Caribbean country.

"The ratings on Curaçao reflect its stable political system within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as well as its strong balance sheet and net general government asset position. They also reflect monetary and exchange-rate rigidities, and large but stable current account deficits."

S&P said while Curaçao has a prosperous and diversified economy and high levels of education and health care compared with regional peers, it has low gross domestic product (GDP) growth prospects.

It said real per capita GDP growth has been 2.2 per cent, on average, in the past five years.

The rating also reflects shortcomings in data, especially on the net international investment position, S&P said.

It said Curaçao's constitutional status as an autonomous state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands "anchors its political stability".

In addition, S&P said Curaçao benefits from its participation in the Kingdom's judicial system, which contributes to local and foreign confidence.

S&P said Curaçao's GDP per capita is just below US$20,000, and its economy is "more diversified than most Caribbean peers".

Nevertheless, S&P projected that Curaçao's real per capita GDP growth will be slightly negative during 2016-2018 at around 0.2 per cent.

- CMC