GIS:- Saint Lucia’s economic trajectory has been positively assessed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its published World Economic Outlook October 2018. The document takes into account the global factors that affect a country’s performance.
A 3.4 percent growth is projected for Saint Lucia in 2018, and 3.6 percent for 2019.
Minister in the Ministry of Finance, the Hon. Dr. Ubaldus Raymond, citing the passage of Tropical Storm Kirk which significantly affected the agriculture sector, indicated that Saint Lucia remains vulnerable to such unforeseen factors.
“It’s too early to tell, however we always have to be cautious because our economies are so fragile and any outside shock can affect our economy. So while these projections exist, we are cautious to report that this is exactly what we will get. Again, these are just projections based on information gathered within the various government departments, the private sector and the policies of the government. These are just projections.”
On a positive note, the minister recalled that the previous year’s estimates mirrored the projections.
“The good thing about it is the projections of last year kind of mimicked what the real estimate came out to be. So I’m hoping there will not be any disturbances in the external market or economies that will affect the projections for 2018.”
The minister indicated that the growth is as a result of several policy decisions taken by the government, including the reduction of the Value Added Tax from 15 percent to 12.5 percent. He also noted that there are several projects to come on stream that will have a positive impact on the country’s GDP.
According to the IMF, Saint Lucia’s GDP growth was three percent in 2017, sustained by robust activity in several sectors. Favorable external conditions, coupled with hotel expansions and the addition of new flights, generated a strong recovery in tourism, with stay-over arrivals rising by 11 percent, the fastest growth in the Caribbean.
The government, according to Dr. Raymond, is striving for 12 percent accumulative growth while in office.