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On the back of difficulties in the global economy, The Caribbean economy experienced a difficult year in 2015. Caribbean countries being small open economies, were not immune from these effects. The commodity-producing countries saw sharp falls in growth. On the other hand, for those economies reliant on tourism, it was a relatively good year. A well as heavy reliance on overseas markets, 2015 demonstrated other characteristics of the region, such as vulnerability. Natural disasters in Dominica and the Bahamas caused significant damage and set back economic growth. Weather events particularly drought also affected agricultural production.
The reliance of the Region on Correspondent Banking Relationships (CBRs) with overseas banks was brought into focus, as the number of CBRs fell, threatening some financial systems and real economies. Thus far in 2016 (Jamaica and the Bahamas) are ranked higher in economic growth while Jamaica and St. Lucia are in the top half of 182 countries assessed. Significantly, Trinidad and Tobago grew by just 0.2%.
The main reason was declined in output of the petroleum industry, where falling oil prices caused a cutback in some exploratory activities; some oil and gas fields matured, and there were prolonged periods of maintenance activity. In Haiti, drought caused a decline in agricultural production. Manufacturing, especially apparel, grew strongly; but construction growth slowed following a decline in donor support for post-earthquake reconstruction and an increase in civil unrest. In Belize, crop production and livestock farming increased, while wood output and shrimp production fell. Continue reading “Economic Development In The Caribbean”