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BRIDGETOWN, (Barbados)— The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said yesterday that the prospects for economic growth in the Caribbean region are improving, with growth in both tourism-dependent economies and commodity exporters projected to be in the one to two per cent range for the next two years.


In its Regional Economic Outlook for the Western Hemisphere released here, the Washington-based financial institution estimates growth for the Latin America and Caribbean region to increase from 1.3 per cent in 2017 to two per cent in 2018.


For 2019, the IMF forecasts growth to continue to pick up to 2.8 per cent.


According to the IMF, Grenada is expected to register the highest growth for the next two years, pegged at 3.6 per cent; while Guyana’s growth is put at 3.5 per cent this year, growing to 3.7 the following year.


The IMF said that St Kitts-Nevis will continue to perform well and register economic growth of 3.5 per cent this year; Antigua and Barbuda, which will register average of 3.2 per cent growth over the next two years.


The Washington-based financial institution noted that The Bahamas’ economic growth for 2018 will be 2.5 per cent, dropping to 2.2 per cent next year; while hurricane battered Dominica, which is the only Caribbean country to register negative growth in 2018 of minus 16.3 per cent; will nonetheless increase to 12.2 per cent in 2019.


The IMF figures show that St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Haiti will all register economic growth of more than two per cent in 2018, remaining almost stagnant the following year.

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