BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, October 27, 2018 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The findings of a recent report by the Basseterre-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) have reinforced that the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis is heading in the right direction under the Team Unity administration.
The ECCB’s June 2018 Economic and Financial Review for St. Kitts and Nevis notes that the economic position of the Federal Government increased to “a larger overall fiscal surplus during the first half of 2018, compared with the corresponding period in 2017.”
The review also revealed that the country’s economy “expanded at an accelerated rate for the first six months of the year, relative to the performance of the economy for the same period in 2017.”
This increase in economic activity, according to the ECCB report, was sustained by buoyancy across several sectors including the hotels and restaurants; transport, storage and communications and real estate, renting and business activities sectors.
Furthermore, the ECCB findings showed added value in the tourism industry, which it estimated to have expanded in the first half of 2018. The report went on to note that this was influenced by increases in both the number of stay-over visitors and cruise passenger arrivals.
Stay-over and cruise visitor arrivals are estimated to have increased by 10.7 percent to $247 million in the first six months of 2018. Notably, in July of this year, St. Kitts and Nevis achieved the significant feat of being recognized by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) as a marquee tourist destination with the arrival of the one millionth cruise passenger to our shores during the 2017-2018 cruise season.
Positive reviews were also given for the agricultural sector. This was driven largely in part by across the board increases in all sub-sectors.
Crop production reflected an increase of eight (8) percent in the output of pumpkins, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Other major contributors to the outturn include increases in the production of watermelons, carrots and sweet peppers of eight (8) percent. In the livestock sub-sector, output is estimated to have expanded, largely influenced by a 2.5 percent rise in the production of beef and pork.
The estimated higher performance of the agricultural sector was further supported by a 2.6 percent rise in the production of mutton and goat meat, while the output of eggs rose by 2.5 percent.
Notably, the Team Unity Government has provided strong support to farmers. For instance, the Government established a hurricane relief compensation initiative to assist farmers affected by the 2017 hurricane season.
Then, effective June 1, 2018, the Team Unity Government established a $2-million Agriculture Fund to assist our farmers and fishers.