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Caribbean economies set for significant growth this year

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The World Bank’s latest report presents an optimistic growth forecast for the Caribbean region, projecting an overall economic growth of 7.1 per cent for 2024, with a continued strong performance of 5.7 per cent in 2025. 

This growth is anticipated despite a global economic backdrop that remains uncertain and challenging.

Excluding Guyana: A closer look at regional growth

Excluding the outlier, Guyana, the Caribbean’s economic growth is expected to stabilize at 3.9 per cent in 2024 and rise slightly to 4 per cent in 2025. 

The moderate recovery in tourism and stable remittances are significant contributors to this growth. 

Specific countries like The Bahamas and Barbados are projected to see growth rates of 2.3 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively in 2024, although these will taper off slightly in the following year.

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Spotlight on Guyana: An economic boom

Guyana stands out with an extraordinary growth rate projected at 34.3 per cent in 2024, which is set to decline to 16.8 per cent in 2025. 

This significant growth rate underscores Guyana’s unique economic trajectory within the Caribbean community.

Among the CARICOM nations, Haiti is expected to experience a contraction by 1.8 per cent in 2024, with a rebound to positive growth anticipated in 2025. 

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In contrast, Jamaica and St. Lucia are projected to have modest growth rates over the next two years, underscoring the varied economic conditions within the region.

Economic headwinds and recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean

The report notes a slowdown in the broader Latin America and Caribbean region due to ongoing monetary tightening, with economic growth expected to dip to 1.8 per cent in 2024 before a modest recovery in 2025.

Commodity prices and a potential slowdown in China are identified as critical factors that could influence the region’s economic performance.

Global economic stability and Long-term Outlook

Globally, economic growth is expected to stabilize at 2.6 per cent in 2024, a modest improvement from the pre-pandemic averages. 

This stabilization suggests a gradual recovery, but the pace remains slow compared to historical standards. 

The report highlights the long-term challenges facing the global economy, including debt levels, trade constraints, and the impacts of climate change on vulnerable economies.

Strategic insights for developing economies

The World Bank’s report also emphasizes the importance of public investment as a catalyst for private investment in developing economies.

 For countries with sufficient fiscal space, increasing public investment could significantly boost economic output in the medium term. 

Additionally, the report discusses the fiscal challenges faced by small states, recommending comprehensive reforms to enhance revenue stability and spending efficiency.

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