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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper analyzes macroeconomic fluctuations in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The paper describes data, along with the estimation technique used to ensure stationarity of the data. The empirical regularities of macroeconomic fluctuations in the ECCU are described, examining the relationship between a set of macroeconomic time series and domestic output, for each of the six IMF members of the ECCU. The paper also explores the determinants of macroeconomic volatility in the ECCU.

International Monetary Fund

Over the last decade, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) macroeconomic performance has deteriorated relative to the rest of the Caribbean. Tourism accounts for three-fifths of exports, and the import content of consumption and investment is high. The ECCB-operated quasi-currency board arrangement (CBA) has continued to deliver price and exchange rate stability. The region has strong social indicators, but poverty, health, and crime remain concerns. Despite the implementation of ambitious revenue reforms, limited progress has been made toward fiscal consolidation. Credit has continued to expand rapidly.

International Monetary Fund

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

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.

International Monetary Fund
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.
International Monetary Fund
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.
Rupa Duttagupta and Mr. Guillermo Tolosa
This paper assesses the nature of fiscal discipline under alternative exchange rate regimes. First, it shows in a simple theoretical framework that fiscal agencies under a currency union with a fixed exchange rate can have the largest incentive to overspend or "free-ride" (compared to those under other exchange rate regimes) owing to their ability to spread the costs of overspending in terms of the inflation tax across both time-given the fixed exchange rate-and space-given the currency union. In contrast, such free-riding behavior does not arise under flexible regimes owing to the immediate inflationary impact of spending. Next, empirically, it shows that fiscal stances in countries with fixed pegs and currency unions regime demonstrate greater free-riding behavior than countries with more flexible regimes in 15 Caribbean countries during 1983-2004.
International Monetary Fund

This consultation paper explains that in addition to the adverse impact of the global slowdown and higher commodity prices, St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been hit by two successive natural disasters in the last 12 months. As a result, real GDP has been contracted by a cumulative 4.7 percent since 2007 and is expected to remain slightly negative this year. Growth is expected to improve gradually toward its potential, but significant downside risks remain, largely related to developments in the global economy.