Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 7th 2014 Contents BG8 NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt AUGUST 2014 • WEEK ONE
Caribbean slips on 2014 UN
Human Development Index
In 2013, Cuba retained the highest ranking on the UN s HDI
in the Caribbean, holding the 44th highest level of Human
Development globally since 2012. Having moved up one notch
on the ranking to 100th place, Suriname is the only Caribbean
country to have recorded any upward movement in its ranking
St Lucia recorded the largest decline, slipping by four notches
to 97th, while Jamaica slipped by three spots to 96th place.
Four countries registered declines by one notch each in 2013---
Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Dominica.
Although Guyana is outranked by the rest of the Caribbean,
it has recorded the fastest pace of average annual HDI growth
in the region, of 1.22 per cent between 1990-2000, and 0.87
per cent from 2000-2013.
According to the UN, the highest HDI values are seen in
Latin America and the Caribbean (0.740).
However, while all regions are registering improvement,
signs of a slowdown are particularly noticeable in the Arab
States and in Latin America and the Caribbean, where average
annual growth dropped by about half.
T&T: IMF expects 2014
growth at 2.3 per cent
On June 16, 2014, the IMF concluded its Article IV con-
sultation with T&T, and released a statement on July 9, high-
lighting their view that the economy has embarked on a sus-
tainable growth path.
Some of the positive macro-economic trends discussed
included that of inflation (trending downwards partly for sta-
tistical reasons) and unemployment (which "masks sizeable
underemployment in government make-work programs")
according to the release.
In addition, the fiscal deficit is expected to fall to 1.5 per
cent of GDP in FY2013/14, "largely for ad hoc reasons rather
than durable improvements in revenues or expenditures" the
IMF said. And finally, the external position has strengthened,
but "the foreign exchange allocation system...led to fairly
widespread and persistent foreign exchange shortages" the
IMF reported. The IMF forecasts growth at 2.3 per cent in
2014, falling to 2.1 per cent in 2015.
Barbados: S&P reaffirms rating
at BB--, negative outlook
S&P recently reported that it expects net general government
debt to rise by 5.0 per cent of GDP to 80 per cent of GDP
by FY ended March 2014. S&P expects no growth in 2014,
but sees the fiscal deficit declining based on ongoing consol-
The Central Bank released its H1 2014 review of the economy,
which reported a 0.2 per cent decline in stop-over arrivals for
January to June 2014, y-o-y. Total imports fell by 1.4 per cent
y-o-y for H1 2014, and international reserves slipped to
US$546.7MM or 15.1 weeks of import cover in June 2014. The
fiscal deficit stood at 12.4 per cent of GDP for FY 2013/14,
and debt stock grew by 9 per cent y-o-y.
ECCU: Growth at 0.7 per cent in
2013, up from 0.2 per cent in 2012
In its recently published Annual Economic and Financial
Review for 2013, the ECCB revealed provisional growth estimates
of 0.7 per cent for 2013, compared to 0.2 per cent in 2012.
Only St Lucia, Anguilla and Montserrat are estimated to have
contracted in 2013.
Higher levels of FDI as well as domestic private and public
investment are largely responsible for the marginal growth in
output experienced by the other member states. Indeed, the
only country experiencing a decline in FDI inflows in 2013,
was Dominica at 22 per cent or US$5 million, according to
Grenada saw the largest increase in FDI in 2013 at 129 per
cent to US$78 million, (the highest level since 2009) up from
US$34 million in 2012.
Guyana: Net international
reserves in downward trend
The level of reserves held at the Bank of Guyana posted an
11.2 per cent y-o-y decline in May 2014, to reach US$651.3
million, which we estimate at roughly 3.2 months of import
cover. Despite this external deterioration, the exchange rate
has been quite stable, averaging GY$206.47:US$1 in May 2014,
which represents a 0.76 per cent depreciation y-o-y.
Jamaica: JM$ slips against
US$ but reserves expand
Bank of Jamaica s Net International Reserves rebounded to
USD1,376.13 million (or 14.6 weeks of import cover) in May
2014, which represents growth of 39.2 per cent y-o-y, and
is the highest level seen since August 2012. According to the
CTO, from January to April 2014, stop-over tourist arrivals
grew by 1.2 per cent y-o-y, buoyed by higher arrivals across
all source markets except the USA.
The Dominican Republic: 8.4 per
cent rise in stop-over arrivals
CTO data reveal that robust tourism sector performance
continues, with stop-over arrivals growing by 8.4 per cent y-
o-y in H1 2014. Positive momentum is seen across all source
markets, with the strongest growth in arrivals coming from
the USA, up 12.2 per cent and "other" markets, up 10.1 per
cent y-o-y. Inflation in June 2014 came in at 3.68 per cent
y-o-y---within the Central Bank s target of 3.5 - 5.5 per cent.
July 2014 Caribbean Economic Report:
RBC issued its July 2014 Caribbean Economic Report on Monday and apart
from a few bright spots, the report indicates that the region is still struggling
to come out of the recession caused by the global financial crisis in 2008.
Here are some excerpts:
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