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Mr. Alfred Schipke, Aliona Cebotari, and Ms. Nita Thacker

Abstract

The Eastern Caribbean Economic and Currency Union (OECS/ECCU) is one of four currency unions in the world. As in other parts of the world in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis, the region is at a crossroads, facing the major challenges of creating jobs, making growth more inclusive, reforming the banking system, and managing volatility, while grappling with high public debt and persistent low economic growth. Policymakers have the critical task of implementing strong reforms to strengthen the monetary union while also laying the foundation for accelerating growth. This Handbook provides a comprehensive analysis of the key issues in the OECS/ECCU, including its organization and economic and financial sector linkages, and provides policy recommendations to foster economic growth.

International Monetary Fund

This 2010 Article IV Consultation highlights that macroeconomic outcomes have weakened significantly for St. Lucia. Real GDP is estimated to have contracted by 5.2 percent in 2009, reflecting a sharp decline in visitor arrivals and construction activity related to foreign direct investment. For 2010, the outlook is for a nascent recovery, supported by higher advance hotel bookings and additional flights to the island. Against this backdrop, Executive Directors have welcomed the authorities’ commitment to implement a credible fiscal framework to achieve fiscal sustainability.

International Monetary Fund
St. Lucia’s 2008 Article IV Consultation underlies that progress has been made in reducing fiscal imbalances, yet public debt and debt servicing payments continue to rise. Tourism accounts for more than three-fourths of exports, and the import content of both consumption and foreign direct investment is high. Although the share of value added from the traditionally dominant agriculture sector has declined sharply in recent decades, crop exports support the incomes of much of the country’s large rural population.
International Monetary Fund
St. Lucia faces structural challenges that need to be addressed to raise growth durably and reduce poverty. Implementation of planned tax reforms is important to achieve fiscal sustainability. The government’s plans to accelerate tourism-related public investment carry significant risks. Competitiveness is a challenge, and structural reforms need to be accelerated to raise the economy’s growth potential. Strengthening the supervision of the financial sector is another priority. St. Lucia is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Economic and social statistics need to be improved.
International Monetary Fund

St. Lucia faces structural challenges that need to be addressed to raise growth durably and reduce poverty. Implementation of planned tax reforms is important to achieve fiscal sustainability. The government’s plans to accelerate tourism-related public investment carry significant risks. Competitiveness is a challenge, and structural reforms need to be accelerated to raise the economy’s growth potential. Strengthening the supervision of the financial sector is another priority. St. Lucia is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Economic and social statistics need to be improved.

International Monetary Fund
This 2003 Article IV Consultation highlights that after a contraction in GDP of more than 4 percent in 2001 and only a marginal expansion in 2002, the pace of economic growth in St. Lucia accelerated in 2003 to 3.7 percent, driven by a rebound in tourism of close to 17 percent. Despite the pickup in growth, the overall economic situation remained difficult in 2003, as an ongoing recovery in the tourism sector has not spilled over to the whole economy. Unemployment remained high, and bank credit to the private sector is declining.
International Monetary Fund

This 2003 Article IV Consultation highlights that after a contraction in GDP of more than 4 percent in 2001 and only a marginal expansion in 2002, the pace of economic growth in St. Lucia accelerated in 2003 to 3.7 percent, driven by a rebound in tourism of close to 17 percent. Despite the pickup in growth, the overall economic situation remained difficult in 2003, as an ongoing recovery in the tourism sector has not spilled over to the whole economy. Unemployment remained high, and bank credit to the private sector is declining.

International Monetary Fund

This 2002 Article IV Consultation highlights that after growing by an average 3 percent a year in 1998–99, output for St. Lucia stagnated in 2000, and fell by an estimated 5¼ percent in 2001. This reflected a severe drought in 2001, as well as lower tourism activity owing to the global economic slowdown and terrorist attacks of September 2001. In 2002, no growth is expected as tourism was weak, and tropical storm damage prevented a stronger recovery in banana production.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper analyzes the competitive threats to the tourism sector in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The paper concludes that the ECCU countries have lost competitiveness globally and vis-à-vis newly emergent Caribbean tourist destinations as a result of both price and nonprice factors. The short-term measures implemented by the countries seem to have been insufficient to prevent further declines in 2002. The paper also describes strengthening fiscal discipline through fiscal benchmarks.