Posted: Wednesday, February 2, 2022. 11:22 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says it projects for 2022 an annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 9.1 percent among its 19 members, accelerating the region’s economic recovery which started in 2021.
Literally fueling that growth is a resurgence in oil, gas, and energy production in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, turning higher international prices for crude oil into revenue windfall.
Countries dependent on the service sector, including and especially tourism, are expected to grow by nearly five percent as international visitors increase their returns and restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic ease; but this sector is vulnerable to the acceleration of vaccination rates; effective management of the pandemic without resorting to full and lengthy lockdowns; and continued confidence in protocols established for safe travel to the region.
At the Bank’s annual news conference held virtually today, director of economics Ian Durant listed a key lesson from the impact of the pandemic: “…those countries entering the pandemic on a strong macro-fiscal footing fared better in weathering the headwinds. As such, countries are redoubling efforts to achieve debt sustainability despite extant challenges. Many countries are implementing programs to achieve sustainability with support from the international financial institution community, including from CDB. Others are doing so outside of supported programs but have established explicit fiscal anchors to function as platforms for macroeconomic policy frameworks.”