‘St. Vincent and the Grenadines is recovering from multiple shocks’ – IMF

By Admin. Updated 5:30 a.m., Tuesday, September 6, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

A banana field covered in volcanic ash in the Park Hill/South Rivers area on April 10, 2021. Photo: Demion McTair.

The Washington-based International Monetary Fund – IMF says, “St. Vincent and the Grenadines is recovering from multiple shocks”.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 190 countries, and it says it is working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.

In its Staff Concluding Statement of the 2022 Article IV Mission, the IMF stated the outlook for SVG “is positive, but subject to significant downside risks, primarily from the ever-present threat of natural disasters and intensified spillovers from Russia’s war in Ukraine resulting in higher commodity prices.”

The IMF says this country’s GDP is estimated to have increased by 0.5 percent in 2021, after shrinking by 5.3 percent in 2020.

The international financial institution says: “The pandemic and 2021 volcanic eruptions, compounded by the impact of the war in Ukraine, highlighted St. Vincent’s vulnerability to external shocks and natural disasters.”

The statement added:

The shocks wielded a major blow to agriculture and tourism, two main sectors. The proactive policy responses mitigated the socio-economic impact of the shocks and helped contain economic scars.

Despite authorities’ strong efforts to mobilize revenue and contain non-priority spending, critical fiscal responses to address the humanitarian and healthcare crises— coupled with weaker economic activity—raised public debt to about 88 percent of GDP in 2021.

Tourism recovery has been slow, with Q1 stayover arrivals reaching 45 percent of the pre-pandemic levels.

The war in Ukraine have compounded the 2020-21 shocks through a spike in import prices.

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