St. Vincent and the Grenadines averted the blacklisting by changing its laws last December. (iWN file photo)

The Vincentian economy is ‘recovering’, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday, adding that beyond 2020, growth would be sustained at around 2.3 per cent, assuming steady tourism and investment growth.

“The growth outlook is positive. Staff expects real GDP growth to rebound from 0.7 per cent in 2017 to 2 per cent in 2018, and further to 2.3 per cent in 2019, driven by increases in tourist arrivals, tourism-related activities (including investment in hotels and resorts), and related local production.”

The closure, since December 2016, of Buccament Bay Resort  — the largest hotel in St. Vincent — and heavy rains with flooding and landslides slowed down growth in the second half of 2016 and early 2017, the IMF said.

“Following the opening of the new airport, however, tourist arrivals have recovered, boosting tourism-related services (such as hotels, restaurants, and retail),” the IMF said in a statement to mark the Feb. 15 conclusion of its Article IV consultation with St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Increased demand for reconstruction materials from Dominica, which was struck by Hurricane Maria in September 2017, also helped the recovery.

As a result, quarterly data show that output growth (year-on-year) has turned positive since the third quarter of 2017.

Over the past year, inflation has remained around 2-3 per cent.

The IMF, however, stated that this outlook is subject to both external and domestic risks.

“External risks include weaker-than-expected global growth, tighter global financial conditions, and higher oil prices.

“Domestic risks include more severe and frequent natural disasters, the loss of correspondent banking relationships, and materialisation of financial sector risks. There is also upside potential stemming from stronger-than-expected tourist arrivals, investor interest, concessional financing for capital projects, and the successful completion of the geothermal power plant.”

The 2018 Article IV consultation focused on policies to achieve stronger and sustainable growth, build fiscal buffers, bolster resilience to natural disasters, and ensure financial stability.

7 replies on “SVG’s economy ‘has been recovering’ — IMF”

  1. The stopover tourism numbers for SVG (people landing by plane and boat and overnighting) have been stagnant for the 2016-2018 period and are expected to be nearly 20 percent lower in 2019 than in 2006, according to tourism statistics and my optimistic projection for 2019.

    Accordingly, this IMF statement is nonsense.

    Remember, the IMF does no independent data gathering of its own but depends on figures given to it by this government.

  2. I did observe the vibrancy within the SVG municipal during my latest visit; most visibly amongst the younger population.
    The political division is still evident. However, people are becoming more conscious as to the important role we as each individual must play within the governance policies; in a unified hope in ‘achieving stronger and sustainable growth, build fiscal buffers, bolster resilience to natural disasters, and ensure financial stability’ nonetheless, bearing in mind that Pride in the absence of Humility is like building a house on the sand.

  3. The IMF can only work with what they are given by the ULP government. Ralph Gonsalves has said several times in the past that he is here to complete the work of Maurice Bishop, which he left unqualified. Of course a different member of the dynasty is now Minister of Finance, since Ralph handed that ministry to his eldest son from his first marriage, Camillo Gonsalves.

    I have no idea if Camillo is also here to help complete the work of Maurice Bishop. That I suppose depends on what his father has instructed him to do, we know Ralph does not allow him to speak for himself so its difficult to work things out.

    What we do know is that the revolutionary Maurice Bishop instructed certain members of his communist party in Grenada to keep two sets of books, one to present to the IMF and World Bank, a clear fraud on the IMF, and its all recorded in public records in Grenada and elsewhere.

    Now God forbid I am suggesting or implying that the Gonsalves dynasty leader of the Gonsalves/Francis dynasty or any other member of the dynasty would ever consider doing anything illegal, ever.
    Nor am I suggesting they would do anything wrong in government, nor would they as leaders of the ULP party, nothing, nada, ask Ralph [not Camillo because he may be unwilling or unable to speak without his fathers permission].

  4. Pigs might fly one day is a very big hope and if they do be ready for the fallout and watch out! Wear big hats and disposable boiler suits.

    Another hope according to IMF briefing, is that Venezuela may one day be able to feed its starving three and a half million absconders, who have given up waiting for changed circumstances in its proposed growth forecast, departed the state thus leaving their fellow Venezuelans in limbo.

    https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2018/11/21/ms112118-st-vincent-and-the-grenadines-staff-concluding-statement-of-2018-article-iv-mission

    Tens of thousands of Vincentians too, who have never worked and are here without work, has a forlorn that one day this long awaited take off, much promised with the coming of the A.I.A may one day materialise.

  5. You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. “Every day the bucket a-go a well, one day the bottom a-go drop out.”

  6. Dear James H, do we not already have a pig that flies all over the place on a weekly basis?

    We have a pig that flies!

  7. I get the Jolly! Got it for sure! A pot belly one at that! But are we not being a little insulting?

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