Dominica only Caribbean country to experience negative growth in 2018- IMF

Dominica News Online:  

Hurricane-battered Dominica is the only Caribbean country to register negative growth in its economy in 2018, a report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has shown.

However, the latest Regional Economic Outlook for the Western Hemisphere shows the news is not all that bad as the IMF is forecasting growth for the island in 2019.

According to the report, released late last week, Dominica is expected to register negative growth in 2018 of minus 16.3 percent but will nonetheless increase to 12.2 percent in 2019.

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

According to the IMF St Kitts-Nevis will register economic growth of 3.5 percent this year, dropping to 3.2 percent the following year; Antigua and Barbuda, which will register 3.5 percent growth this year, will fall to three percent in 2019.

The Bahamas’ economic growth for 2018 will be 2.5 percent, dropping to 2.2 percent next year.

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

The report shows that Latin America and Caribbean region on a whole is expected to increase from 1.3 percent in 2017 to two percent in 2018, while in 2019, the IMF forecasts growth to continue to pick up to 2.8 percent.

Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica on September 18, 2017 when the Category 5 Hurricane made landfall.

The island was still recovering from Tropical Storm Erika which struck in August 2015.

The hurricane is reportedly Dominica’s worst natural disaster—with more than thirty deaths and damage estimated at US$1.3 billion (225 percent of GDP).

In a report published in January 2018, the IMF said that the revenue of the government of Dominica might take years to reach pre-Hurricane Maria levels.