BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, April 10, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – At his monthly press conference held on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris reported to the nation a number of positive news and developments taking place in St. Kitts and Nevis, including an announcement that economic growth in the country increased in 2018 for the fifth time in a row under the leadership of the Team Unity administration.
Commenting on the economic performance of the country, Prime Minister Harris revealed that the fiscal returns available up to February 2019, as according to the Financial Secretary, reflected that the country is once again in surplus.
“Our recurrent balance, our overall balance and primary balance are all in surplus. These surpluses provide clear and irrefutable evidence as to our very good fiscal health and prudent management of our economy,” said Prime Minister Harris, who is also Minister of Finance.
The performance of the country’s fiscal resources by the Team Unity Government stands superior to that of the former administration. Over the 5 year period 2010 to 2014, the St. Kitts-Nevis economy had declined in 2010 (-3.8), 2011 (-1.9), and 2012 (-0.9) according to the IMF Press Release 14/138 dated March 24, 2014. Even with growth rates at 6.6 percent and 5.1 percent in 2013 and 2014 respectively, over that 5 year period the economy grew by a mere 1.2 percent.
Furthermore, the 2018 St. Kitts and Nevis Country Economic Review issued on March 14, 2019, by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) indicated that St. Kitts and Nevis ranked first in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) with respect to its primary balance and public sector debt ratio.
“Within CARICOM Member States, St. Kitts and Nevis primary balance was the best in the region at 7.1 percent of GDP. As stated earlier, real GDP growth for St. Kitts and Nevis was estimated at 2.50%. This puts us ahead of 8 of the 14 Member States of CARICOM. Public sector debt for St. Kitts and Nevis was recorded at 58.20% of GDP, making us the best performing in the OECS. The Federation ranked second in the CARICOM region with international reserves providing 8 months of import coverage,” the prime minister reported, while noting that, “This impressive performance in the region must be seen against the international benchmark of 3 months and is much better than the international standard.”
In its 2018 economic review for St. Kitts and Nevis, the CDB also projected an increase in growth to 3.0% in 2019, mainly on the back of expanding construction and tourism activities.
The prime minister noted that continued economic growth will be sustained by a number of major infrastructural projects in St Kitts, including the Old Road Bay Rehabilitation Project; the Old Road Fisheries Project; the Government’s comprehensive Housing Solution Programme; the construction of the second cruise pier at Port Zante, as well as resurfacing of the runways at R. L. Bradshaw International Airport.