Connect with us

Caribbean & World

IMF Executive Board Concludes 2019 Article IV Consultation with Grenada

Published

on

Press Release No. 19/265
3 July 2019

On 12 June 2019, Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Grenada.

The Grenadian economy continues to grow robustly. GDP expanded by 4¼% in 2018, driven by strong activity in construction and tourism. Unemployment has been falling, but it remains high at 21.7% as of mid-2018. Inflation has remained low and bank credit growth is positive. The external current account deficit is estimated to have narrowed in 2018 due to strong tourism receipts, but it remains elevated at around 11% of GDP. Robust FDI flows, including from the citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programme, are financing the external deficit while supporting economic growth.

Adherence to the fiscal responsibility law (FRL) has enabled further debt reduction. The fiscal surplus increased further in 2018, reflecting a combination of strong revenues and the FRL-mandated expenditure restraint. Low execution of grant financing and institutional bottlenecks in project execution combined to keep capital outlays subdued at 2¾% of GDP. Central government debt fell from 70 to 63½% of GDP in 2018, but arrears to Algeria, Libya, and Trinidad and Tobago remain to be regularised.

Growth is set to remain above potential in 2019, but is projected to ease somewhat over the medium-term, consistent with a waning of FDI-driven construction. The fiscal position is projected to loosen over the medium term in line with the FRL’s provisions that take effect after public debt falls below 55% of GDP and should provide some support to the economy. External risks are mainly on the downside and are centered on prospects for U.S. growth and global financial conditions. Domestic risks are two-way and partly hinge on the efficiency of the envisioned fiscal expansion that is permitted by the FRL.

Executive Board Assessment

Executive Directors welcomed Grenada’s continued strong economic and fiscal performance and sustained debt reduction, underpinned by sound policies. They emphasised that further policy improvements and public support for reforms are critical to achieve higher and broad-based medium-term growth, further reduce unemployment, entrench debt sustainability, and strengthen financial stability.

Directors underscored the importance of focusing policy efforts on making growth more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive. They noted that Grenada’s growth potential is held back by susceptibility to economic shocks and natural disasters in addition to long-standing structural weaknesses such as high unemployment and an external competitiveness gap. In this context, directors supported making prudent and efficient use of Grenada’s hard-earned fiscal space to address the country’s infrastructure and resilience gaps. They highlighted the need to enhance the business climate and competitiveness, including through improvements in labour market institutions. They noted that education and training programmes to match job opportunities with the labour force are also needed.

Directors commended the authorities’ steadfast compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Law (FRL). They agreed that the FRL could be enhanced, with a consistent and well-sequenced implementation, to facilitate more productive spending while safeguarding debt sustainability. In particular, they emphasised the need to improve the procedures for expenditure planning and classification. Directors welcomed the authorities’ intention to implement initiatives on pension reform and healthcare coverage in a manner that is consistent with the FRL and fiscal sustainability.

Directors encouraged the authorities to move ahead with fiscal structural reforms to improve spending quality and mitigate fiscal risks. They stressed the importance of implementing the public-sector management reform strategy to improve public sector productivity and service delivery. They recommended further strengthening social assistance programmes and continuing public investment management and public enterprise reforms, while regularising bilateral arrears. Directors welcomed the climate change policy assessment and the authorities’ intention to elaborate a comprehensive disaster resilience strategy with inputs from key stakeholders. This should help catalyse concessional financing to address the infrastructure and resilience gaps.

Directors welcomed steady improvements in bank credit growth and banking soundness indicators. At the same time, they noted that the continued fast growth in lending by credit unions and the rising property markets warrant close monitoring. They called for a proactive approach to strengthening the supervision and regulation of the non-bank financial sector by the local regulator and the need for coordination with the ECCB and the ECCU’s peer regulators. Directors highlighted the importance of continued efforts to ensure compliance with AML/CFT regulations in all areas to support correspondent banking relationships and preempt any financial integrity concerns.

[1] Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board.

[2] At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarises 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

Source: Source link

Caribbean & World

Tourism statement on the passing of Sir Royston Hopkin, KCMG

Published

on

By

The island of Grenada woke up Saturday morning to hear the sad news of the sudden passing of a famous son of the soil, Sir Royston Hopkin, KCMG.

Sir Royston was our celebrity hotelier starting his illustrious career in the hospitality industry with the purchase of Spice Island Inn over 30 years ago. He renamed it Spice Island Beach Resort, upgraded the property, added more rooms and has received numerous accolades over the years. His attention to detail, his quest for excellence and his high standards meant that Spice Island Beach Resort became one of the most prestigious hotels on the island and in the Caribbean.

Sir Royston held many roles outside of his hotel, including Director of the Grenada Board of Tourism and President of the Grenada Hotel Association (GHA). Indeed, he was a leader with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) for many years and one of the pinnacles of his career was being chosen as Caribbean Hotelier of the Year by the CHTA. In 2019, he was awarded a lifetime achievement by the Caribbean Hotel and Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) in Miami, Florida.

The Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dr Clarice Modeste-Curwen, awarded Sir Royston a lifetime achievement at her Tourism Awards ceremony in 2019. She stated, “He will be dearly missed by all Grenadians for his invaluable contribution to Tourism and Civil Aviation in the country. In the conduct of his business, Sir Royston, always negotiated with the country at heart and he will also be recognised for his investment in the education of young people.”

Sir Royston is survived by his wife Lady Betty Hopkin and his four children. Chairman of the GTA, Brenda Hood, stated, “We know the road will not be easy without Sir Royston at the helm, but he laid the foundation for the next generation to carry on his wonderful legacy at his hotel.”

On behalf of the Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation, the Chairman and the Board of Director and the team of the Grenada Tourism Authority, Grenada is eternally grateful for the life and contributions to Tourism and Civil Aviation of Sir Royston Hopkin, KCMG. May he rest in peace.

GTA

NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Caribbean & World

Michael Bascombe says his daughter is lucky to be alive

Published

on

By

by Linda Straker

  • Doctors have given thumbs up on Micah’s prognosis
  • Micah is a senior at Buffalo State College of State University of New York

Michael Bascombe, father of Micah Bascombe has described his daughter as a walking miracle and lucky to be alive, following an early Sunday morning shooting in University Heights, Buffalo, New York, USA.

“She remains conscious. The doctors have given the thumbs up on her prognosis,” Bascombe said in a Facebook post on Monday, 24 February in which he updated his friends and followers. Early Sunday morning he called on friends to pray for his daughter and the family.

“She’s a walking miracle and lucky to be alive because the bullet penetrated and exited the skull just above the left eye,” he shared in the post. He had earlier posted that his daughter continues to be in high spirits, but remains in the ICU.

“When you see your baby smile, there is nothing more you can ask for,” was the message on her mother, Hazel Ann Bascombe’s Facebook page. Micah is a senior at Buffalo State College of State University of New York, studying psychology.

Bascombe is well known for his sport journalism work and is presently working in the US with the Department of Homeland Security. He said the family spent most of Monday morning with the detectives of the Gun Violence Unit of the Buffalo Police Department, the Assistant Chief of Police of the University Police Department of Buffalo State and the Dean of Students of Buffalo State. “They have been collecting evidence and interviewing people who they believe could assist in their investigations,” he said.

A report in the Sunday edition of The Buffalo News website quoted the police as saying that a 20-year-old woman was in serious condition after she was struck by gunfire just before 3 am near Bailey and Berkshire avenues. She was transported to Erie County Medical Centre.

Bascombe, who migrated with his family to the USA more than 10 years ago used the post to thank all those who prayed and continue to pray for his daughter and the family. “Thank you for the many calls and offer of support through this difficult time including some incredible folks at the Department of Homeland Security and the many family members who made the journey and gathered at her bedside with short notice,” he wrote.

NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Caribbean & World

Arrests made in Soubise drug bust

Published

on

By

Three men have been arrested and charged in connection with the 20 December 2019 drug bust at Soubise, St Andrew, which netted 698 pounds of cannabis.

The men, Ronald Thomas, 35 years of Post Royal, St Andrew; Rol Mc Queen, 31 years of La Fortune, St Patrick, both Fishermen, and Finbar Phillip, 43 years, Mechanic of Soubise, St Andrew will appear at the Grenville Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 25 February 2020.

Finbar Phiilip
Rol Mc Queen
Ronald Thomas

Thomas has been charged with Trafficking in a Controlled Drug, while Mc Queen and Phillip have been charged with Conspiracy to Traffic in a Controlled Drug.

One blue fishing boat with a 75 horse-power was also seized.

Police investigation continues.

Office of Commissioner of Police

NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Trending