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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Aruba managed to contain the pandemic in the first months of the outbreak but experienced a resurgence of new infections in the summer. The economic impact of COVID-19 is particularly severe given Aruba’s high dependency on tourism. While the authorities’ swift response has helped contain the human and economic damage, it could not avoid a severe GDP contraction.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights Aruba’s recession, which began around mid-2015. Real GDP contracted by 0.5 and 0.2 percent in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Weakness in activity was broad based in 2016. Domestic demand contracted by 3.0 percent. Exports grew only 0.3 percent owing to weak tourism and shrinking nontourism exports. Imports contracted by 3.5 percent, reflecting weak demand on the back of fiscal consolidation and weak tourism growth. Monetary policy was unchanged during 2015–16. The banking system remains resilient. Banks maintain elevated capital buffers, have relatively low nonperforming loans, and are profitable.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ economic recovery from the global economic crisis has been curbed by a series of significant natural disasters. These, combined with the economic downturn following the global financial crisis, have prevented the economy from returning to its long-term potential real GDP growth. The overall fiscal balance is estimated to have narrowed to 4.75 percent of GDP in 2014. After an estimated 1.1 percent growth rate in 2014, growth is projected to pick up modestly to 2.1 percent in 2015 on improvements in tourism and agriculture and enhanced implementation of much-needed rehabilitation and reconstruction projects.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic output in Aruba remains 12 percent below its pre-crisis level, with recovery slower than others in the Caribbean region. The non-oil current account (CA) balance, which mostly reflects developments in the tourism sector, has improved since mid-2000 reaching a balanced position in 2012. The overall CA balance, however, after being in surplus for years, showed volatilities in recent years reflecting oil-sector developments. In 2012, it recorded a surplus of 5 percent of GDP. In 2013, real output is projected to grow by 1¼ percent. Robust tourism growth and some pickup in consumption from projected deflation will support the subdued near-term recovery.
International Monetary Fund
The two newly autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands face substantial challenges. Growth has been low, and unemployment high. The current account deficit has widened to worrisome levels, increasing the vulnerability of the peg to the U.S. dollar and stimulating calls for dollarizing or dissolving the currency union. A substantial adjustment is needed to bring the underlying current account deficit to historically sustainable levels over the medium term. This could be facilitated by measures to restrain credit growth, supported by fiscal consolidation.
International Monetary Fund
Aruba has an open economy with a history of stability-oriented macroeconomic policies. Adverse external shocks have led to a decline in tourism and disruption of oil refinery operations. Serious fiscal challenges need to be addressed and a fiscal adjustment program is needed to safeguard the sustainability of the public finances. Expenditure cuts and the central bank’s switch from a credit ceiling to an unremunerated reserves requirement as key policy tool is commended. The new monetary policy framework will likely increase the challenges to prudential regulation and supervision.
International Monetary Fund
The 2008 Article IV Consultation analyzes the promise of fiscal discipline and debt relief that has boosted investor confidence and growth in the Kingdom of the Netherlands—Netherlands Antilles. Although exports moderated temporarily, tourism was a bright spot owing to improvements in competitiveness as a result of infrastructure investments, and cost controls from immigration. Executive Directors encouraged the authorities to take the opportunity provided by the large debt relief from the Netherlands government under the dissolution agreement to set the budget and the economy on a more sustainable footing.
International Monetary Fund
Aruba is one of the most developed islands in the Caribbean. Still, it is vulnerable to external shocks owing to its heavy dependence on tourism and a steady increase in public debt. Policies to support further fiscal consolidation and boost Aruba’s growth potential are needed. Maintaining macroeconomic stability will require fiscal adjustment and an appropriately tight monetary policy. Bolstering the growth potential will require creating the right conditions for private investment and diversification. The financial system is generally sound, but warrants continued supervisory vigilance.
International Monetary Fund
The staff report for the 2005 Article IV Consultation on the Kingdom of the Netherlands—Aruba highlights the economic developments and policies. Meeting the challenges of population aging requires policies that create conditions for faster productivity growth. IMF Staff recommended applying the successful model of public-private sector cooperation developed in the tourism industry to promote diversification in other areas, in particular in financial services. Staff urged the authorities to speed up the restructuring of public companies and reinvigorate their efforts to improve statistics.