Recently appointed Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy N J Antoine has commenced dialogue with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the economic policies and performance of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
During his meeting with a team from the IMF at the ECCB Headquarters on 9 March, Governor Antoine, shared the Vision for the ECCB and highlighted the main policy issues for the ECCU and the recent economic performance.
The Governor informed the team that the fiscal performance of the ECCU had improved over last year as reflected in higher primary surpluses and smaller overall deficits. This improvement, along with the impact of debt restructuring and the resumption of economic growth, has contributed to a reduction in the Debt to GDP ratio for the ECCU. The Governor however, indicated that high and sustained growth is required to reduce the level of unemployment, particularly among the region’s youth.
Head of the IMF delegation, Trevor Alleyne, supported the assessment of economic recovery in the ECCU and expressed the view that the countries should institutionalise the reforms that have been undertaken so that the gains could be sustained. He gave the assurance that the IMF would continue the dialogue with the ECCB on the reform programmes and provide technical support as needed.
The other members of the IMF Team were:
1. Gonzalo Salinas, Senior Economist, Caribbean 1 Division, Western Hemisphere Department
2. Julien Reynaud – Senior Economist, Western Hemisphere Department, Caribbean Division
3. Alla Myrvoda, Economist, Caribbean 1 Division, Western Hemisphere Department
4. Kevin Silston, Advisor to the Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the ECCU
The IMF consultations with the ECCB and its eight member countries on the economic policies and performance of the ECCU are undertaken annually.