A remote technical assistance (TA) mission on external sector statistics (ESS) was conducted to the Statistics Department of Dominica (SDD) during August 30 to September 10, 2021. The mission was carried out as part of the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) work program on ESS. The balance of payments and international investment position (IIP) statistics for Dominica are compiled jointly by the SDD and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).1 In this context, three staff from the ECCB participated in the mission in their capacity of ESS compilers for Dominica. Fadhila Alfaraj of the IMF’s Statistics Department (STA) joined the mission.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Dominica has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with an estimated decline in GDP of 11 percent in 2020 underpinned by a sharp reduction in tourism receipts that affected connected sectors and by lockdown measures to limit virus contagion. The output decline was contained by health spending, social transfers, and public investment resilient to natural disasters which increased significantly, leading to an increase in public debt to 106 percent of GDP despite record-high Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) revenue. The financial sector remained stable and liquid, but vulnerability continue to be significant in the under-capitalized non-bank sector.
Mr. Tamim Bayoumi, Mr. Saad N Quayyum, and Sibabrata Das
The paper analyzes the impact of natural disasters on per-capita GDP growth. Using a quantile regressions and growth-at-risk approach, the paper examines the impact of disasters and policy choices on the distribution of growth rather than simply its average. We find that countries that have in place disaster preparedness mechanisms and lower public debt have lower probability of witnessing a significant drop in growth as a consequence of a natural disaster, but our innovative methodology in this paper finds that the two policies are complements since their effectiveness vary across different disaster scenarios. While both are helpful for small to mid-size disasters, lower debt—and hence more fiscal space—is more beneficial in the face of very large disasters. A balanced strategy would thus involve both policies.