International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic inflicted another major shock on the economies of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, which followed category 5 hurricanes in Sint Maarten in 2017 and the spillovers of the Venezuelan crisis on Curaçao. Despite the substantial response measures financed by The Netherlands, the economic contraction in 2020 was severe.
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.