Caribbean economies to grow by 1.7 percent

CDB President says countries need to get on a path of sustained income growth.

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has released the 2017 Caribbean Economic Review and Outlook figures.

Despite a slow-growing economy, the CDB projects a 1.7 percent average growth in 2017, across its member countries.

CDB President Dr. Warren Smith said overall economic growth across the region remained uneven, with that fragile state of recovery to continue in 2017.

“The big challenge for each and every one of us is to reverse this pattern and get on a path of sustained and inclusive income growth with discernible improvements in living standards,” he said.

But to realize this growth, member countries must increase their foreign exchange earnings. Dr. Smith said the fastest growing Caribbean economies are those that offer services, and have been expanding in line with global recovery. He asserted that it is imperative for governments to implement activities that are financed by revenue systems that meet the sufficiency criteria, while promoting equity and economic efficiency.

“Because economic growth rates are so low, many governments are unable to generate the primary balances needed to correct adverse debt dynamics, so public debt remains unsustainably high, while emergency revenue measures implemented to stem fiscal debt deterioration following the global recession have had a perverse impact on competitiveness, further constraining economic growth,” Dr. smith explained.

To fuel growth, CDB Director of Economics, Dr. Justin Ram, said “the way forward for the global economy is marked by some profound risk.”

The 2017 Caribbean Economic Review and Outlook was released on Feb. 17 in Barbados, before several government and media officials from across the region.

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