This Selected Issues paper on the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) underlies key features of business cycles. To obtain new measures of classical and growth cycles, simple rules were applied to date turning points in the classical business cycle, and a recently developed frequency domain filter was used to estimate the growth cycle. At the regional level, the ECCU countries are facing two shocks, i.e., the depreciation of the U.S. dollar and the depreciation of the Dominican Republic’s peso. The countries of the ECCU have experienced modest erosion in their price and nonprice competitiveness.
This Selected Issues paper for the Kingdom of the Netherlands reports the Antillean economy lacks natural resources and is open and undiversified, relying mainly on exports of services such as tourism, international financial services, shipping, and oil refining. Exports and domestic consumer spending, both private and public, drove the economic recovery. Economic growth in the United States and the appreciation of the euro against the national currency contributed to the strong performance in the tourism sector.
On the revenue side of Seychelles, both tax and nontax revenues have shown marked increases during 1998–99 on account of a number of factors. A strengthening of tax administration has yielded significant improvements in tax collections, particularly in the areas of taxes on income and profits, which has increased from 4.4 percent of GDP in 1997 to 6.8 percent of GDP in 1999. Trade taxes on domestic goods and services have grown from about 7 percent of GDP in 1997 to about 8 percent of GDP in 1999.
Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan, Li Zhao, Steve Brito, and Vivian Parlak
Tourism has become the main driver of economic growth and employment and the most important source of income in the ECCU. Preserving and, possibly, enhancing the competitiveness of the tourism product is key for these countries. Unfortunately, the evidence shows that tourism arrivals to the ECCU have been declining slightly while global demand for tourism is on the rise. The objective of this paper is to study the structural determinants of competitiveness for the ECCU, defined as the relative cost advantage over other touristic regions (Di Bella, Lewis, and Martin 2007). Using a gravity model, we show that proximity to North American and European markets is indeed an important competitive advantage for the ECCU. However, despite this advantage, and, in some cases, specialization in high-end tourism, regression analysis shows that arrivals to the ECCU are sensitive to relative prices. Our simulations show that mitigating supply-side constraints would improve the ECCU’s competitiveness and allow the region to regain global market shares.
Nepal’s public debt-to-GDP ratio is set to decline from 68 percent of GDP at end-2002–03 over the medium term. The 2003–04 budget makes a start in implementing the medium-term fiscal strategy. Government spending will be redirected to social sectors, for poverty alleviation, and be better prioritized. Monetary policy would remain geared to supporting the exchange rate peg to the Indian rupee. Further steps are envisaged to strengthen the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), improve the banking environment, and restructure commercial and development banks.