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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Selected Issues
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
With ECCU economies slowly emerging from the pandemic with scars, the impact of the war in Ukraine is a setback to the nascent recovery. Higher food and energy prices, amid ongoing supply disruptions and intra-regional transportation bottlenecks, are raising inflation, eroding income, lowering output growth, worsening fiscal and external positions, and threatening food and energy security. As a result, inflation is expected to hover over 5½ percent in 2022. Real GDP is projected to grow by 7½ percent in 2022, leaving output still well below the pre-pandemic level. Fiscal deficits are projected to remain sizable, given continued pandemic- and disaster-related spending and temporary support to address rising living costs, thereby keeping gross financing needs and public debt at elevated levels in the near term. The financial system has remained broadly stable so far, with adequate capital and liquidity buffers, but nonperforming loans remain high and could rise further following the expiration of the ECCB’s loan moratoria program. The outlook is subject to large downside risks, primarily from further increases in commodity prices and new COVID variants amid vaccine hesitancy, in addition to the ever-present threat of natural disasters.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

IMF Country Report No. 21/157

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
An explosive volcanic eruption that began on April 9 is hitting St. Vincent and the Grenadines hard, creating an urgent balance of payments need and a humanitarian crisis as the country continues to deal with the fallout from the global pandemic. The economy is estimated to have contracted in 2020 by 3.8 percent as tourism activity fell 70 percent. Before the eruption, economic growth was expected to be flat in 2021, as the global pandemic continued, and tourism remained depressed. While there is considerable uncertainty about the evolution of the eruption, staff estimate the infrastructure damage to exceed 20 percent of GDP and for the economy to contract by 6.1 percent in 2021 with agriculture and related sectors severely affected.