The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is projecting regional economic growth for all of its borrowing member countries (BMC) of just over four percent, its president, Warren Smith, said in the 2019 Caribbean Economic Review and 2020 Outlook.
This comes after a year of low growth in 2019 where BMCs averaged just one percent economic growth, down from the modest growth of 1.6 percent in 2018.
The Bahamas is listed as one of 12 of the 19 BMCs projected to experience increased growth rates.
“Abaco and Grand Bahama islands suffered substantial damage as a result of the passage of Hurricane Dorian in September. Nonetheless, The Bahamas recorded the highest ever number of visitor arrivals, reflecting pre-hurricane performance and increased airlift from North America,” Smith said at the annual news conference held in Barbados.
“Prior to Hurricane Dorian, The Bahamas’ fiscal deficit was narrowing. Debt rose slightly to 66.3% of GDP to meet the initial post-hurricane financing requirements, but remained manageable.”
Immediately following the destruction of Hurricane Dorian in September, the CDB announced a US$50 million exogenous shock policy-based loan for The Bahamas on an eight-year term at 4.8 percent interest.
The two fastest growing economies in the region last year were Anguilla (10.9 percent) and Dominica (5.7 percent).
Growth drivers in the region are listed as the construction, tourism and agriculture sectors; however, Guyana’s economy is expected to grow by more than 76 percent as it starts its oil production industry.