Prime Minister encouraged by IMF’s favourable growth prospects

A statement released by the Prime Minister’s office notes that the International Monetary Fund’s 2019 Article IV Mission statement is an encouraging report for the Government of Saint Lucia.

Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and the Public Service, Allen Chastanet, has explained that the report is further evidence that the Government is on the right track and fiscal and policy measures put in place over the past three years are delivering results.

The statement was released by the IMF mission who visited Saint Lucia during October 29-November 8, 2019, for the annual Article IV consultation discussions on economic developments and macroeconomic policies and states that Saint Lucia’s near-term growth prospects are “favourable, supported by large infrastructure investments and robust tourist inflows.”

The IMF recognized that despite delays in public infrastructure, Saint Lucia has had robust tourism inflows which have sustained economic activity.

“Growth picked up in 2019 with record growth in tourism activities more than offsetting a contraction in construction. Preliminary information also shows a further improvement in the current account,” the report states while also recognizing the decrease in unemployment.

The report went further: “Near-term growth prospects are favourable, albeit with downside risks. The commencement of large public infrastructure projects by the year-end is expected to substantially boost growth in 2020-22. The major upgrade of the international airport and the road network will help address capacity constraints and has the potential to catalyze a more durable expansion of the tourism sector and related activities.”

Read the full IMF statement here

Read the full statement from the Prime Minister’s office here