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Mr. Masahiro Nozaki, Mr. Tobias Roy, Mr. Pawel Dyczewski, Mr. Bernhard Fritz-Krockow, Ms. Fanny M Torres Gavela, Mr. Gamal Z El-Masry, and Mr. Rafael A Portillo
This paper analyzes the economic growth and stability in Suriname. The paper highlights that in recent years, the outlook has turned substantively more positive. The favorable external environment and the stability-oriented policies of the Venetian administration have boosted confidence in the economy, leading to increased investment, domestic economic activity, and employment. The recent boom in commodity prices has helped boost growth, while increased gold production and investment in the mineral industry are projected to support continued growth in the coming years.
Mr. Simon Cueva, Mr. Stephen Tokarick, Mr. Erik J. Lundback, Ms. Janet Gale Stotsky, and Mr. Samuel P. Itam

Abstract

This paper focuses on the independent states that are full members of the Caribbean Community. It provides background information on recent developments in the Caribbean region and lays out the principal policy issues that countries will need to address in the period ahead. The Caribbean countries face several common problems and must deal with similar economic policy issues. Consequently, concentrating on the regional perspective permits a comparison of the individual responses to similar problems. The regional view throws light on the countries' movement toward convergence. The economic prospects for the region are generally satisfactory over the medium term, but the projections depend importantly on the resolve of governments to pursue appropriate policies, as well as favorable developments in the rest of the world. The relatively favorable outlook for the region is not without risks, such as a slowdown in growth in the major trading partner countries or a term of trade shock.

Mr. Simon Cueva, Mr. Stephen Tokarick, Mr. Erik J. Lundback, Ms. Janet Gale Stotsky, and Mr. Samuel P. Itam

Abstract

With few exceptions, countries in the Caribbean region have performed reasonably well in recent years. They will, however, need to accelerate policy actions in a number of areas to address he challenges they are likely to face in the near future.

Mr. Simon Cueva, Mr. Stephen Tokarick, Mr. Erik J. Lundback, Ms. Janet Gale Stotsky, and Mr. Samuel P. Itam

Abstract

The economic performance of most of the countries in the Caribbean region has been broadly satisfactory in recent years, but insufficiently robust to substantially reduce unemployment. In the five-year period ended 1998, real GDP growth in the region was somewhat higher than in the major trading partner countries, inflation declined, and the fiscal and external positions improved. Also, progress was made toward trade liberalization.

Mr. Simon Cueva, Mr. Stephen Tokarick, Mr. Erik J. Lundback, Ms. Janet Gale Stotsky, and Mr. Samuel P. Itam

Abstract

The English-speaking Caribbean region has, for the most part, enjoyed economic stability, modest growth in per capita incomes, and a standard of living that compares fairly well with the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole. Also, social indicators are generally good and political systems stable. However, the increased integration of the region in the global economy has led to a number of risks that have to be addressed promptly for the countries of the region to accelerate growth and social progress in the period ahead. Although the region faces a number of issues that could be discussed, this paper concentrates on three broad topics, namely the need to: (1) lower the costs of financial intermediation and to strengthen supervision over onshore and offshore financial institutions; (2) improve the public finances—and, thereby, savings—to act as a buffer against external shocks; and (3) advance structural reforms—including further liberalization of trade—to enhance external competitiveness and promote the diversification of exports.

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper describes the revenue instability and its consequences for Suriname. It explores some options for policy rules that could be considered in the case of Suriname. The paper analyzes inflation in Suriname from its historical and international perspectives, reviews the monetary policy instruments and the institutional framework, and describes the exchange rate regime and its main developments. The paper also analyzes the type of macroeconomic shocks and the domestic transmission mechanism for Suriname.
Judith Gold, Mr. Ruben V Atoyan, and Miss Cornelia Staritz
After a period of exceptionally strong economic performance, Guyana's growth has stagnated since 1998. The paper tries to identify the factors that can explain this dramatic deterioration in economic performance. The paper first attempts to explain the decline of growth with a growth accounting exercise which shows that there was a significant swing in total factor productivity, and than uses a panel regression framework to analyze the growth impact of changes in various factors. Finally, through a series of cross-country exercises, the paper shows that the primary reasons for the divergence between the economic performance of Guyana and other Caribbean, HIPC, and PRGF-eligible countries in 1998-2004 are a substantial decline in share of net foreign and private domestic investment in GDP, a decline in the labor force, and a less favorable political and institutional environment.
Mr. Serhan Cevik and Tianle Zhu
Monetary independence is at the core of the macroeconomic policy trilemma stating that an independent monetary policy, a fixed exchange rate and free movement of capital cannot exist at the same time. This study examines the relationship between monetary autonomy and inflation dynamics in a panel of Caribbean countries over the period 1980–2017. The empirical results show that monetary independence is a significant factor in determining inflation, even after controlling for macroeconomic developments. In other words, greater monetary policy independence, measured as a country’s ability to conduct its own monetary policy for domestic purposes independent of external monetary influences, leads to lower consumer price inflation. This relationship—robust to alternative specifications and estimation methodologies—has clear policy implications, especially for countries that maintain pegged exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar with a critical bearing on monetary autonomy.
Ms. Lisa Drakes, Ms. Chrystol Thomas, Roland Craigwell, and Kevin Greenidge
This paper addresses the issue of threshold effects between public debt and economic growth in the Caribbean. The main finding is that there exists a threshold debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio of 55–56 percent. Moreover, the debt dynamics begin changing well before this threshold is reached. Specifically, at debt levels lower than 30 percent of GDP, increases in the debt-to-GDP ratio are associated with faster economic growth. However, as debt rises beyond 30 percent, the effects on economic growth diminishes rapidly and at debt levels reaching 55-56 percent of GDP, the growth impacts switch from positive to negative. Thus, beyond this threshold, debt becomes a drag on growth.
Mr. Simon Cueva, Mr. Stephen Tokarick, Mr. Erik J. Lundback, Ms. Janet Gale Stotsky, and Mr. Samuel P. Itam

Abstract

Despite the numerous challenges and uncertainties facing the economies of the Caribbean region in the period ahead, the economic prospects for the region as a whole appear relatively favorable (Table 13). Economic growth in the region is expected to accelerate over the medium term, averaging about 3½ percent a year over the period 2000–2005, which is significantly better than the performance of the region in the 1980s and 1990s, but below the projected average annual growth in the world economy of more than 4 percent. This acceleration in economic activity in the region is influenced by many factors, including the turnaround in economic performance in the region’s export markets other than the United States, increases in the prices of the region’s major export commodities, and the impact of new investment projects in the energy and tourism sectors in some countries. In the OECS countries, growth is expected to remain fairly robust, as a number of countries are pursuing—and plan to pursue—aggressive diversification strategies that encourage the expansion of service sectors. Economic growth in these countries is expected to accelerate to more than 4 percent a year on average over the medium term, which is faster than the average annual growth they enjoyed in the last decade. Nonetheless, economic growth will not likely be sufficient to reduce substantially the incidence of poverty or unemployment in the region.