(SKNIS): Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris has reassured nationals and investors that the government will remain focused on continuing the trend of growing jobs, income and economic growth.
At a press conference on Monday (May 30), the prime minister quoted from a press release from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued at the completion of the 2016 Article IV Consultation in St. Kitts and Nevis conducted from April 20 – May 03.
It said that “macroeconomic performance remained strong in 2015” and the “economy grew at an estimated 5 percent, in line with 2015 Article IV projections, following two consecutive years of strong growth around 6 percent.” The release added that tourism, wholesale and retail numbers were positive and supported economic growth, inflation turned negative, and the “fiscal position remained in surplus at an estimated 5 percent of GDP.”
“We were the best in the region for 2015,” Dr. Harris said, comparing growth rates in other countries across the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The figures on economic performance also compare favourably to the wider sub-region. According to statistics from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC), St. Kitts and Nevis was described as a leading performer among all countries except for Panama.
“Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad [and Tobago], Brazil, Bahamas all of those countries come after us in terms of their economic performance in 2015,” Prime Minister Harris said.
The IMF projects that the positive trend will continue in 2016 with estimates of 3.5 percent growth.
“My government of course will not take all the credit,” Prime Minister Harris added. “The people of St. Kitts and Nevis, our citizens, residents and visitors alike must take credit because it is our collective responses as consumers, investors, producers and government that make and break the economy. One thing is sure, our economy is moving ahead and we are grateful that work is continuing on a number of projects.”
These include construction projects on a number of resort/hotel projects that when completed will provide hundreds of direct and indirect jobs for locals and generate economic activity. Locals were encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities as they become available.