International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Over the past three to four years, Grenada, a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU), has been one of the fastest growing of the member countries of CARICOM (see chart, this page). Its success has been largely due to determined efforts aimed at strengthening the economy and diversifying its export product base.
Mrs. Ruby Randall, Mr. Jorge Shepherd, Mr. Frits Van Beek, Mr. J. R. Rosales, and Ms. Mayra Rebecca Zermeno
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is one of just a few regional central banks in the world and the only one where the member countries have pooled all their foreign reserves, the convertability of the common currency is fully self-supported, and the parity of the exchange rate has not changed. This occasional paper reviews recent developments, policy issues, and institutional arrangements in the member countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, and looks at the regional financial system, its supervision, and the central bank's initiatives to establish a single financial space. The paper includes a large amount of statistical information that is not readily available elsewhere from a single source.
The Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) countries financial system has increasingly come under stress particularly through weakly supervised nonbank and offshore financial sectors with knock-on effects to domestic banks. The staff report focuses on ECCU’s 2009 discussion on common policies of member countries on economic development and policies. In response, ECCU authorities have accelerated the establishment of national Single Regulatory Units and the passage of harmonized legislation to strengthen then regulation and supervision of nonbanks and offshore institutions.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
1. Prior to the war in Ukraine, the pandemic had inflicted large output losses in the Caribbean, particularly for tourism-dependent economies such as the ECCU. The severity of the output contraction due to COVID-19 in the Caribbean and the ECCU was greater than during the global financial crisis and in the rest of the world. Staff’s analysis suggests that large output losses can be explained by the sectoral composition of output (with tourism being a high-contact service sector) and the availability of fiscal space (Box 1 and Selected Issues Paper). Severe transportation bottlenecks, especially intra-regional air travel, could worsen scarring effects, if left unaddressed.1
Real regional gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 6 percent in 2009, reflecting a collapse in tourist arrivals and foreign direct investment (FDI)-financed construction activity. The global financial and economic crisis has also exposed areas of significant weaknesses, notwithstanding reforms implemented by a number of member countries. Executive Directors concurred that the urgent challenge is fiscal consolidation. They noted IMF staff’s assessment that the real effective exchange rate (REER) appears broadly in line with current fundamentals.
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.