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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that the GDP growth in St. Lucia reached 3 percent in 2017, sustained by robust activity in several sectors. Favorable external conditions, coupled with hotel expansions and the addition of new flights, generated a strong recovery in tourism, with stay-over arrivals rising by 11 percent, the fastest growth in the Caribbean. Backed by strong tourism inflows, the current account balance strengthened. Unemployment declined from 21.3 percent in 2016 to 20.2 percent in 2017, but youth unemployment remains high at 38.5 percent and labor force participation has fallen. The short-term outlook is favorable, but prospects beyond that are sobering. GDP growth is expected to remain buoyant in the near term.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation explains that St. Lucia’s near-term growth prospects are favorable, supported by large infrastructure investment and robust tourist inflows. However, longer-term growth continues to be impeded by high public debt, lingering vulnerabilities in the financial system, and structural impediments to private investment. Diminishing policy buffers further weaken the country’s resilience to external shocks against the backdrop of aprecarious global outlook. Completion of long pending legislative initiatives, alongside stronger regional and domestic financial oversight, should provide banks with incentives to strengthen their balance sheets and increase the efficiency of financial intermediation. There is also a need to draw on supervisory and regulatory tools to respond to emerging risks from rising overseas investments of the banks and the rapid expansion of lending by credit unions. The authorities are recommended to should step up efforts to address the institutional, financing and capacity gaps in its climate and disaster response strategy. Supply-side reforms are needed to unlock potential growth by improving the business environment, reducing energy costs, enhancing labor productivity, and further diversifying the economy.
Mr. Gian M Milesi-Ferretti and Mr. Philip R. Lane
This paper highlights the increased dispersion in net external positions in recent years, particularly among industrial countries. It provides a simple accounting framework that disentangles the factors driving the accumulation of external assets and liabilities (such as trade imbalances, investment income flows, and capital gains) for major external creditors and debtors. It also examines the factors driving the foreign asset portfolio of international investors, with a special focus on the weight of U.S. liabilities in the rest of the world's stock of external assets. Finally, it relates the empirical evidence to the current debate about the roles of portfolio balance effects and exchange rate adjustment in shaping the external adjustment process.
Ms. Patricia A Reynolds

India has been among the fastest growing economies in the world over the past two decades. It has achieved trend improvements in growth, literacy, mortality, and poverty rates (see chart, top panels, this page). In recent years, India’s deft handling of monetary policy has helped it successfully weather the Asian crisis while maintaining low inflation and a comfortable external position. Yet despite these gains, poverty rates remain high, with more than one-third of the population still living below the official poverty line. This uneven progress raises questions about the impact of recent economic and structural reforms and about what more can be done to reduce poverty.

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Luiz de Mello, and Miss Randa Sab

Worldwide military spending fell steadily in the 1990s as a share of world output. The latest IMF World Economic Outlook data for 131 countries show that these expenditures stabilized at approximately 2.1 percent of GDP in 1999 (see table, page 176). Other data sources confirm this trend. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), worldwide military spending leveled off at 2.5 percent of GDP in 1998. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) data show a slight reduction in worldwide military spending to 2.1 percent of GDP in the same year. An important reason for differences in the estimates of worldwide military spending among different data sources is variations in data coverage.