St. Kitts, Turks and Caicos lead Caribbean in economic growth


EFE reports that St. Kitts and Nevis and Turks and Caicos were the fastest-growing small economies in the Caribbean last year, both reporting growth of 4 percent, according to the Caribbean Development Bank:

“They each experienced accelerated growth of 4 percent or higher,” CDB Director of Economics Justin Ram said from Barbados in a live-streamed conference. Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Granada reported economic growth of between 1 percent and 3 percent last year, he said.

Dominica and Jamaica each registered an expansion of less than 1 percent, though they managed to exceed forecasts. “Preliminary estimates indicate that the regional recovery continued in 2014, with growth estimated at 1.3 percent, this was lower than what was originally predicted,” Ram said.

He attributed the disappointing performance to the threat of natural disasters and the decline in prices of major commodities. He said the drought the Caribbean region experienced in December 2013 “severely affected agriculture sector” in several countries.

The CDB’s plans for 2015 include strengthening its efforts to promote economic growth and job creation, with emphasis on the energy sector and renewable energy projects. “Sustained economic growth is important because it has the potential to improve the lives of the more than 16 million men, women, and children living in our region,” CDB President William Warren Smith said during the conference.

He said a successful normalization between the United States and Cuba would mean a significant change for the region, expanding the tourism market and boosting exposure for local commodities. [. . .]

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