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‘Fragile’ growth in region


‘Fragile’ growth in region

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THE CARIBBEAN’S ECONOMIC GROWTH is “strengthening”, but the region is still facing a number of global “risks”.

International Monetary Fund deputy managing director Min Zhu sounded that cautious tone last week while speaking in St Kitts and Nevis at the 2015 High Level Caribbean Forum On Financing Growth.

“I am pleased to note the strengthening of economic growth in the Caribbean over the past year – this is what all of us are working towards. However, growth is still a challenge here and in the rest of the world. It remains fragile and uneven in the region,” he said.

“And, although the recovery in the United States looks robust, growth prospects have deteriorated in many parts of the globe compared to a year ago: in many emergin markets, notably in Latin America, but also, for example, in Canada – a key tourism market for this region, and Europe still looks fragile.”

He added: “Indeed, global macro risks have not gone away. This region faces, among other things, possible consequences from the impending rise in [United States] interest rates, the slowdown in China and South America, the opening of Cuba to US tourists, as well as other competitiveness challenges.”

Reflecting on the damage Tropical Storm Erika inflicted on Dominica, the IMF representative said “we have been cruelly reminded of the ever present natural disaster risks facing the region following the loss of life and severe damage that Tropical Storm Erika caused to Dominica”.

“I know that our staff has reached out to the Dominican authorities with assurances that we stand ready to provide emergency financial assistance if they should need it, but I want to personally reiterate . . . the Fund’s commitment to support the region in circumstances like these,” said.

He also reminded that the IMF’s mandate was to “promote global economic stability, a precondition for sustainable development”. (SC)

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