Tue | Jan 28, 2020

4.2% growth forecast for Eastern Caribbean

Published:Saturday | December 14, 2019 | 12:10 AM

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) says member countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) are expected to achieve eight consecutive years of positive economic out-turn, with average growth forecast to remain steady at 3.9 per cent this year.

It said all ECCU economies – Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts-Nevis and Montserrat – will again be recording positive gains.

It said the robust performance of the tourism sector and the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes, and public sector-fuelled construction activity were the primary drivers of ECCU-wide gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2019, with Dominica at nine per cent, Antigua and Barbuda with 6.2 per cent, and Grenada at 3.3 per cent projected to be among the fastest-growing economies in the Caribbean.

ECLAC said that the macroeconomic outlook for the ECCU countries continues to be positive in the short to medium term, with real GDP growth forecast to accelerate, reaching 4.2 per cent in 2020.

“The continued strong performance of the tourism, construction and ancillary sectors, as well as inflows of foreign direct investment driven by the member states’ CBI programmes, is expected to underpin this expansion in economic activity.

“However, prevailing downside risks include climate-related natural disasters, subdued global demand owing to lingering trade tensions and uncertainty surrounding Brexit,” ECLAC said in its latest report titled Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean 2019, released on Thursday.