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OECS economies contract

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

OECS economies contract

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BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – The economies of the islands of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) contracted by 3.2 per cent last year, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Sir Dwight Venner, has said.
Delivering the annual ECCU Economic Review on Thursday night in a radio and television broadcast to the nine-member Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Sir Dwight said that economic figure was better than the previous year when the economies contracted by seven per cent.
“These contractions were largely affected by declines in construction and tourism activity. Construction, which has been one of the key productive sectors in the ECCU, remained depressed in 2010, contracting by 21.8 per cent, due to the limited availability of foreign financing and reduced inflows of foreign direct investment.”
He said although there was some indication of an increase in tourist arrivals in the latter part of 2010, activity has not returned to pre global economic and financial crisis levels.
Sir Dwight said that the contraction in economic activity was also reflected in a decline in currency in circulation which fell by 12.4 per cent in 2010 following a 4.9 per cent decrease in 2009.
He said domestic credit declined by 2.2 per cent in 2010 in contrast to an increase of 4.8 per cent the previous year. (CMC)