Economic coverage made simpler through ECCB Workshop

Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 26, 2012 (SKNIS): Journalists and Media Practitioners throughout the region were given tips on how to understand and write about economic matters at a video-conferenced workshop organized by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), January 24.

Entitled “Economic Workshop for Media Practitioners,” the session explained such terms as supply side economics, short term economic growth and increased factor productivity which are often used by professionals in that field. During the engaging half-day session representatives of the ECCB Corporate Relations Department kept media practitioners in full participatory mode.

By means of a dramatic presentation entitled “Economics is not a Foreign Language,” Sybil Welsh ECCB Advisor, Corporate Relations Department encouraged the participation of media practitioners representing the members of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) of Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis. A follow-up session, dubbed “Government Macroeconomic Objectives and Policy Tradeoffs – Meeting Public Demands with Scarce Resources” invited each country to assume the role of Government Cabinets which had to determine the priority investment for their particular country from among the requests of several communities/constituencies. By this means, participants recognized some of the terminology as well as economic considerations and constraints that are required in decision-making.

ECCB Economist Ronald James discussed the topic “The ECCU Economic Outlook – Searching for Growth” where such matters as the initial economic ranking of the members of the ECCU were revealed. It was stated that St. Lucia led being driven on the sectors of Tourism and Transportation, followed by Antigua with Tourism and Construction. Grenada was next with Education, then St. Kitts and Nevis with Construction and Real Estate. Following closely was St. Vincent and the Grenadines with Wholesale and Retail. Dominica followed with Agriculture, Anguilla with Tourism and Montserrat with Public Administration.

ECCB Economic Statistician Azziza Trotter concluded the course with an interactive presentation on “Understanding ECCU Government’s Fiscal Situation and Debt Instruments.” Within this context she clarified that government’s fiscal policy is determined by its economic agenda. This is manifested in the annual budget by means of revenue and expenditure measures.

Participants expressed pleasure with the instruction methods used as well as the increased knowledge that will be particularly useful when reporting at economic forums or events.

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