Skip to main content
Available in English

Preliminary overview of the economies of the Caribbean 2012-2013

Publication cover

Preliminary overview of the economies of the Caribbean 2012-2013

Autor institucional: NU. CEPAL. Sede Subregional para el Caribe Physical Description: 46 páginas. Editorial: ECLAC Date: August 2013 ECLAC symbol: LC/L.3680 ISBN: S2013503 E


In the face of weak global growth in major export markets the Caribbean economies have underperformed. The situation is much more severe among service producers1 which have suffered the decline in tourist arrivals and offshore banking services. The goods producers have benefited from the commodity boom and have tended to show more robust growth. The expectations for 2013 are that growth will be positive in the region with the service producers growing at 1.5per cent and the goods producers at 3.6per cent. This performance will depend heavily on improved performances in the major export markets. The fiscal policy stance in most countries in the region in 2012 tended to be expansionary with the average deficit increasing from 3.1 per cent of GDP to 3.4 per cent. The economic structure was an indicator of fiscal health as the service producers had greater deficits. The central challenge on the fiscal side in the region is the large debt problem. Between 2011 and 2012 the average debt burden increased marginally from 64.2per cent of GDP to 65.5per cent of GDP and in a few cases the debt burden was in excess of 100 per cent of GDP. This situation calls for a consistent attempt at fiscal consolidation over the medium term. With respect to monetary policy, the stance was mostly neutral given sluggish demand and stable prices. In a few cases, lending rates trended down slightly but deposit rates also declined and money supply remained practically constant. At the same time, domestic credit to both the private and public sector remained unchanged and the private sector remained risk averse. Inflation trends in 2012 were mixed but overall inflation remained relatively low. The current account balance which is a source of growing concern, increased due to rising imports and sluggish exports. Elevated commodity prices helped to keep the cost of imports high .In terms of the financial and capital accounts, there was an increase in FDI inflows to the subregion but much of this was outside of the tourism sector.