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World Bank sees 2% growth in region


World Bank sees 2% growth in region

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THE WORLD BANK is predicting economic growth for Barbados and ten other Caribbean countries over the next three years.

In its Global Economic Prospects 2016 report, the bank said “prospects are . . . favourable for the Caribbean economies”. Its reference to the Caribbean included Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

“Economic growth in the Caribbean moderated in 2015, with output expanding by 3.3 per cent . . . . The Caribbean is projected to expand at an average of three per cent in 2016-18, in light of some positive spillovers with the continued [United States] expansion,” the bank said.

“Similar to Central America, remittance flows to the Caribbean have been robust and stable. Moreover, Caribbean economies have been buttressed by increasing tourism. For example, tourist arrivals to the Dominican Republic between January and September 2015 rose 8.4 per cent relative to the same period in 2014, with visitors from the United States jumping nearly ten per cent over the same period.

“In the years ahead, the ongoing normalisation of ties between Cuba and the United States is expected to boost travel to Cuba.”

The World Bank also noted there were some policy challenges the region would have to contend with in 2016 and beyond.

“With commodity prices expected to stabilise around the current low prices through the medium term, the economies in Latin America and the Caribbean, especially commodity exporters, will no longer benefit from commodity driven global tailwinds to boost economic growth,” it said. (SC)