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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Trinidad and Tobago faced unprecedented challenges in 2020–21. The combined effects of COVID-19 and energy production and price shocks pushed the economy further into recession. A decisive policy response helped contain the virus spread and protect lives and livelihoods. The fiscal position worsened due to significant tax revenues shortfalls, pushing public debt up. The vaccination pace accelerated recently, but vaccine hesitancy remains high, amid a potential new wave of infections.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted a decade of high growth and development progress in Senegal. While a recession was avoided in 2020, the pandemic caused severe hardship and most households experienced income and job losses. A dynamic recovery is underway since mid-2020, supported by expansionary fiscal policy. However, higher fiscal deficits and lower growth have resulted in a rapid increase of the debt-to-GDP ratio and fiscal space is narrowing. COVID-19 case numbers remain comparatively low and about 14 percent of the adult population is vaccinated. Recent pandemic waves had little impact on economic activity in the absence of new lockdowns or movement restrictions.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Uruguay entered the pandemic with solid institutions and social cohesion but growing macroeconomic imbalances—especially slow economic growth and weak public finances—as the end of the last commodity price boom in 2014 uncovered structural weaknesses. A new government came to power in March 2020 with a mandate to boost growth and restore fiscal sustainability. Legislation setting the foundations for many of the reforms has been passed and implementation is advancing––including on a new fiscal rule, and state-owned enterprise (SOE) and pension reforms.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted a decade of high growth and development progress in Senegal. While a recession was avoided in 2020, the pandemic caused severe hardship and most households experienced income and job losses. A dynamic recovery is underway since mid-2020, supported by expansionary fiscal policy. However, higher fiscal deficits and lower growth have resulted in a rapid increase of the debt-to-GDP ratio and fiscal space is narrowing. COVID-19 case numbers remain comparatively low and about 14 percent of the adult population is vaccinated. Recent pandemic waves had little impact on economic activity in the absence of new lockdowns or movement restrictions.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures have severely impacted the economy. Border closure and the suspension of commercial flights curtailed tourist arrivals. Real GDP contracted by 9.7 percent in FY2020, notwithstanding policy support. The economic contraction is estimated to have deepened in FY2021, and a gradual recovery is expected in FY2022 as tourism activities resume. While Palau’s public debt remains sustainable, the economic fallout of the pandemic and the cost of the fiscal response have led to a sharp deterioration of the fiscal position and a rapid increase in public debt. The high share of concessional loans from multilateral creditors in Palau’s external debt is an important risk mitigating factor. Palau is vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Fiji has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic—with infection rates at one point among the highest in the world. Despite swift action by the government to close borders, protect the population, and mitigate the worst economic effects, the economic contraction was the worst in Fiji’s history. The crisis has come at a heavy social cost, including large-scale layoffs, surging unemployment, and high non-performing loans. Multilateral and bilateral support has been critical in helping Fiji weather the worst of the crisis and has facilitated a strong government response—including rapid acceleration of the government vaccination program underpinning Fiji’s reopening to international tourism.
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.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The pandemic interrupted a prolonged growth spell that made the Dominican Republic one of the most dynamic economies in the region amid strong growth, macroeconomic stability and improved social outcomes. This built resilience to the shock—including by maintaining access to markets—and allowed a decisive policy response to address the health emergency, support growth, and protect the vulnerable.
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.
Barbados has made good progress in implementing its Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan to restore fiscal and debt sustainability, rebuild reserves, and increase growth—but faces major challenges owing to the global coronavirus pandemic. Since May 2018, international reserves have increased from a low of US$220 million (5-6 weeks of import coverage) to more than US$1 billion at end-October 2020. This, and a successful 2018-19 public debt restructuring, have helped rebuild confidence in the country’s macroeconomic framework. While the local spread of COVID-19 has been successfully contained, allowing for a cautious reopening of the tourism sector in July, economic activity remains severely depressed owing to the global pandemic. Risks to the outlook remain elevated.