World Bank Revises Economic Growth for Trinidad and Tobago

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Faster Pace of Economic Activity Estimated

WASHINGTON – The World Bank Friday revised the economic growth for Trinidad and Tobago, saying that the oil-rich twin island republic will record 0.9 per cent growth this year.

“As part of its forecasting exercise, the World Bank estimates for real GDP (gross domestic product) growth in Trinidad and Tobago for 2018 have been revised from – one per cent percent to +0.7 per cent,” the Washington-based financial institution said in a brief statement.

It said that this “revision takes into account recently released data of quarterly sectoral GDP, non-energy production in the last quarter of 2018 indicating a faster pace of economic activity than previously estimated, and updated figures for the 2018 annual oil and gas production.

“Accordingly, the country’s 2019 World Bank forecast for GDP growth has been revised from -0.5 to +0.9 per cent,” the statement added.

On Thursday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert told a news conference in port of Spain that the Keith Rowley administration had been able to manage “a very tight ship for the last three and a half years”.

He said notwithstanding what people in the country said, “ the rest of the world is very impressed with the fiscal consolidation that’s been done in Trinidad and Tobago.

“There are few countries of the world who have been able to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in expenditure without the economy going into crisis,” he said, dismissing also reports that the local currency could be devalued.

“Trinidad and Tobago has defended its exchange rate for 26 years, so when these people speak, they don’t speak from a basis of evidence. The TT dollar was floated in April 1993 and it went to TT$6.3 or TT$6.4 to the US dollar.

“It has remained more or less at that level. It is now TT$6.8 to one US dollar. After 26 years of successive governments defending the exchange rate, we still have US$7.5 billion in foreign reserves or eight months of import cover,” he added. – CMC

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