On June 2, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the 2017 discussion on the common policies of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) in the context of the Article IV consultations with member countries.1
Favorable external conditions continue to support economic recovery, but flat tourism receipts and falling revenues from citizenship programs have weakened growth. The fiscal position has deteriorated slightly and public debt remains high. Despite progress on financial sector reform, bank lending continues to decline while indigenous banks’ profitability is adversely impacted by increasing costs to secure correspondent banking relationships. The short-term outlook is favorable and risks are broadly balanced, but strong structural policies are needed to address impediments to medium-term growth.
Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. In the context of these bilateral Article IV consultation discussion, staff hold separate annual discussions with the regional institutions responsible for common policies in four currency unions – the Euro Area, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, the Central African Economic and Monetary Union, and the West African Economic and Monetary Union. For each of the currency unions, staff teams visit the regional institutions responsible for common policies in the currency union, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the currency union’s economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis of discussion by the Executive Board. Both staff’s discussions with the regional institutions and the Board discussion of the annual staff report will be considered an integral part of the Article IV consultation with each member.
At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country’s authorities. An explanation of any qualifiers used in summings up can be found here: http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/misc/qualifiers.htm.