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IMF predicts 2.6% growth for T&T
“The recovery in much of the Caribbean remains weak with downside risks to growth. Greater resolve is required in bringing down high public debt levels and decisively addressing persistent weaknesses in the financial sector.” The report added that the recession has been a long one. “The Caribbean region continues to recover from a long and protracted recession. Drags from fiscal consolidation and higher energy prices continue to constrain private demand, while the recovery remains trepid amid high unemployment in advanced economies. Tourism-intensive economies are projected to expand by an average of 1.25 per cent in 2011-2012.” However, the report stated commodity-based Caribbean economies will fare better. “Prospects are better in the mineral-rich countries, like Guyana and Suriname, benefiting from record gold prices.”
The IMF has called for greater financial regulatory controls in the region. “Financial sector fragilities in the region are more troubling. In the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), financial sector health indicators have continued to deteriorate. In July 2011, the largest indigenous bank in Antigua and Barbuda was intervened. Meanwhile, the resolution of British American Insurance company (BAICO) and Clico of T&T, are pending.” Vegara said that these were “trying times,” but the IMF has assisted the region. “Since the start of the crisis, the IMF has disbursed US$1 billion to Jamaica and Belize and ECCU members,” Vegara said.
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