IMF hails St. Lucian economic growth

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IMF hails St. Lucian economic growth

Castries-St-LuciaPRESS RELEASE – Directors of the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have welcomed the “recent uptick in economic activity and the positive short-term outlook [of the Saint Lucian economy] on the back of stronger tourist arrivals and lower oil prices.”

According to the IMF, “GDP growth reached 0.5 percent in 2014, with transportation and hotels mostly contributing to the economic recovery.” The growth rate is expected to increase to at least 1.6% in 2015.

The IMF noted that the current account deficit was estimated to have narrowed, and that for the first time since fiscal year 2008/09, the primary balance showed a small surplus in 2014/15, reflecting somewhat higher revenues, restraint on current spending, and cuts to capital expenditures.

The Executive Board welcomed the Government of Saint Lucia’s progress in tackling financial sector weaknesses, but sounded a cautionary note regarding public debt, unemployment, and competitiveness. The Directors also rendered a positive opinion of the Citizenship by Investment Programme.

According to the release:

“Directors took note of the newly launched Citizenship by Investment Programme. They welcomed the emphasis on transparency in the governing legislation, noting that the highest integrity standards could help prevent abuses of the programme. Directors underscored the importance of a prudent deployment of the associated revenues which may be volatile, for example to finance key infrastructure projects or retire public debt.

In respect of unemployment and the business environment, the IMF listed a series of measures, several of which are already being undertaken:

“Directors underscored the importance of ambitious structural reforms to reduce unemployment, improve the business environment, and foster higher and more inclusive growth. They shared the view that continued efforts are needed to diversify energy sources, reduce the costs of doing business, and improve efficiency, including in port operations and customs. Furthermore, education reform would help address skills mismatches in the labour market.”

Earlier this week, the Department of Statistics released figures indicating a significant drop in unemployment, spurred by private sector investment in construction and tourism. The Eastern Caribbean Asset Management Corporation Bill, as recommended by the IMF Board, also completed its passage through the legislature.

The IMF release can be found at goo.gl/BOsDjN.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. This should go without being mentioned. Celebrating mediocrity and calling it a mountain is this government's specialty. What a joke.

    (7)(3)

  2. Please allow me to thank Kenny for increasing visitor arrivals and whatever else. I hope he takes credit for the high unemployment, suicide rate etc. too.

    (2)(1)

  3. The IMF concluded it's report on the information they were allowed access.

    The IMF is unaware that St. Lucia is borrowing money to pay for service Jobs through NICE and STEP which they actually think is going towards business initiatives. That money alone accounts for the economic growth they speak of, do not be fooled. That bubble is sure to burst soon, think Greece.

    (2)(0)

  4. Which IMF is doing the hailing? The local or the real one? There is nothing new here. It is like a marketing ploy just before elections. There is not much to it other than repetition for red SlP kool aid drinkers. They do drink long and hard.

    (2)(0)

  5. So this is basically saying that the growth experienced wasn't a result of any real government initiative (“GDP growth reached 0.5 percent in 2014, with transportation and hotels mostly contributing to the economic recovery.”) And whatever further growth is achieved in the near future/short- term will be mainly due to "stronger tourist arrivals and lower oil prices.” I read the report in its entirety and there really isn't anything to suggest that this current administration had anything substantial to contribute to the slight upward move. If you ask me, this press release is simply another lame effort to score cheap political points and shift attention away from the myriad of troubling issues circling the SLP administration that have been making headlines for a while now.

    (34)(9)

    • Are you kidding me? Whether it was not the government or not, the fact remains that the government created the atmosphere for the increase in tourist arrivals. I see not one teying to score cheap political point but rather the IMF putting out its report on St. Lucia's achievements. Had they said St. Lucia was in the nagative then you would blame the government. People let us applude the achievements made and stop behaving like spolt brats. Just saying.

      (11)(52)

      • According to the last Economic and Social review St. Lucia's economic growth rate for 2014 was -.07% which was the third year of economic contraction. Also how could we expect a 1.6% growth in 2015 on the back of Tourism when according to the SLTB stats we had a 2% growth for the year and a decline in tourism earnings because the number of room nights declined? The sad truth that our government is spending more time on prop grandma than solutions. Tourism in Barbados, Grenada and Aruba have grown by over 12% and more than three quarters of the Caribbean have grown more than St. Lucia.

        On the CIP program I see the IMF saying that it "should be" transparent and the revenues "should be" spent on debt reduction and capital expenditure. Isn't that the same thing the opposition is calling for and the government has failed to address. Not even to mention Hilare's role as Chairman of the CIP. Mr. Hilare should resign

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    • ok but the report stated our budget had a small surplus to do balancing was that also done by the tourist? come on people wake up!
      this is good news stop being political

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  6. I can recall in 2011 when the IMF said there was some growth in the economy SLP said that was not so and changed their focus on the VISA revocation of RF and discrediting the UWP, by the way he did promised to say why RF Visa was revoked up to now, I rather suspect he shielding something. 0.5% growth is not a lot to shout about especially when you owe the civil servants. "Boy look at this mans tricks, any time we wants to make it look like the economy grows he ask the public servant for a wage freeze so the election year all of a sudden statistic change" Take time and think and you will see.

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    • is that all you have to say Kill bill? Don't you have any feeling of gladness by the fact that some nationals who were not so happy are now not so sad as they once were? After all those who once shouted now have less wriggling space to shout unemployment.....unemployment......unemployment. I think we should all be in a buoyant mood.

      (3)(4)

    • 0.5% is a good job. Expected, BUT THE NOT YET ACHIEVED 1.6% is just stupendous! Am I some kind of idiot or what?
      Does SLP believe that people in Saint Lucia make it a habit of eating plates full of numbers and statistics for breakfast, lunch and dinner on a daily basis?

      (45)(4)

      • THE HATE IS STRONG this is good news it shouldnt matter party wise
        opps im sorry im speaking to local lucians who see everything by colours
        either red or yellow
        (wake up!)

        (0)(3)

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