(PRESS RELEASE) – The Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) which was barred from publishing the 2018 Article IV Consulation on the economy of St Kitts and Nevis and prevented from carrying out a similar exercise in 2019, said the federation can expect a near ten percent decline in GDP in 2020 as a result of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The disclosure has come from Alejandro Werner, head of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere department during the 2020 Spring Meetings.
He said that the tourism-dependent Caribbean region is expected to suffer more than many of its neighbors in Latin America.
In a regional briefing Werner said that he sees a “lost decade” for Latin American and the Caribbean, and a situation where Caribbean nations will be “severely affected.”
Werner said the IMF expects GDP in Latin American and Caribbean to fall 5.2% in 2020 and that about half of the 16 countries in the Americas are seeking emergency assistance from the IMF are in the Caribbean.
The IMF disclosed that GDP is expected to fall 5.6% in Jamaica, 4% in Haiti and 4.5% in Trinidad and Tobago.
It is also expected to fall 8.5% in St Lucia, 8.1% in St Kitts and Nevis, 8% in Grenada, 4.7% in Dominica and 4.5% in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that the fund has already approved loans for countries in the Caribbean and is looking at what else it can do.
The record shows that in St Kitts and Nevis, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in St Kitts and Nevis in 2013 was 6.02 percent and 6.3 percent under the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) administration of former prime minister the Rt Hon Dr Denzil L Douglas.
In 2015, the economy contracted under the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government to 1 percent in 2015; 2.8 percent in 2016; minus 2 percent in 2017; 2.9 percent in 2018 and a projected 3.6 percent in 2019.