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International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.

A technical assistance (TA) mission on external sector statistics (ESS) was conducted to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Saint Lucia as part of the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) work program on ESS. The mission focused on addressing data compilation issues on trade in goods—especially on the import and re-export of fuel—and travel credits and assessed the revised 2022 balance of payments that was disseminated in December 2023.

International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A technical assistance (TA) mission on external sector statistics (ESS) was conducted to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Saint Lucia as part of the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) work program on ESS. The mission focused on addressing data compilation issues on trade in goods—especially on the import and re-export of fuel—and travel credits and assessed the revised 2022 balance of payments that was disseminated in December 2023.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
After successive external shocks—first, the pandemic and later higher commodity prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—the region’s output has surpassed its pre-pandemic level boosted by a strong tourism rebound and investment. Inflation is moderating from its peak. Fiscal and external balances have improved, but public debt and current account deficits remain high. The financial system has been stable and liquid, although it continues to be confronted with asset quality weaknesses and rising risks in the non-bank financial sector. Longstanding structural challenges affecting private investment and employment create a drag on growth going forward. The region’s outlook is heavily dependent on uncertain Citizenshipby- Investment (CBI) inflows, and susceptible to volatility in commodity prices, a slowdown in major tourism source countries, and the recurrent threat of natural disasters.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The 2023 Article IV Consultation highlights that St. Lucia’s tourist-dependent economy has rebounded strongly after the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and the commodity import price shock due to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Output is currently near the pre-pandemic level, while higher government revenue has narrowed the fiscal deficit. The gross domestic product growth projection in 2023, at 3.2 percent, is lower than 2022 as tourism demand continues the recovery and the economy approaches the existing production capacity. Afterward, it is projected to gradually decline toward a potential rate of 1.5 percent in the medium-term. With output approaching full recovery, the priority is to start rebuilding fiscal and financial buffers and place public debt on a solid downward trend, anchored on the regional debt ceiling, through growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and fiscal rules. In the banking sector, it is important to reach full compliance with the regional central bank’s provisioning requirements. The momentum of reforms to address disincentives to bank lending should be maintained by passing legislation to expedite loan collateral appropriation. Draft legislation to strengthen the regulation and supervision of credit unions should be passed, and the planned asset quality review carried forward.