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ECCU Economies Bounce Back Despite External Shocks

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Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) economies have registered a strong recovery after successive external shocks.

That’s according to the  International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Report for the 2024 Article IV consultation on common policies of ECCU member countries.

External shocks impacting the region included the COVID-19 pandemic and commodity price hikes after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The IMF staff report highlighted the pivotal role of tourism and public and private sector investment in propelling the ECCU economies towards recovery.

The document, published this month, said the region’s real GDP is estimated to have grown by 4.8 percent in 2023, and output has surpassed its pre-pandemic levels. 

In addition, the report noted that inflation has moderated to around 4 percent in 2023 from its recent commodity price-driven peak. 

It observed that fiscal and external balances have improved.

However, public debt and current account deficits remain high. 

The report authors projected economic growth would moderate to 4.8 percent in 2024.

Inflation is projected to moderate gradually in line with international trends and stabilize at around 2 percent in 2026.

Among the staff report recommendations was deepening regional cooperation on Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programmes to help safeguard ‘this important source of revenue‘. 

“Building on the already established principles, cooperation would benefit from common due diligence, transparency, and disclosure standards,” it noted.

The IMF document also said a regional CBI framework could include minimum pricing benchmarks to mitigate revenue-erosive competition.

 

 

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