BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – More bad news for the St. Kitts and Nevis economy which continues to contract.
Parliamentary Representative for West Basseterre, the Hon. Konris Maynard disclosed Wednesday that according to the foreign trade statistics issued by the US Census Bureau, the value of goods and services exported from St. Kitts and Nevis to the United States has declined for the fourth consecutive month of this year.
He told listeners to Wednesday’s “Issues” programme on Freedom FM 106.5 that the decline in the manufacturing industry is indicative of other sectors of the local economy as there is no clear drive by the Timothy Harris-led coalition government to support the light manufacturing enclave nurtured over the years by Labour Party administrations since the mid 1960’s.
“Over the past for months we have seen a significant April this year alone we have seen a significant decline which does not augurs well for the workers in the industry as a decline translates into loss of jobs with the downsize of the workforce and a drop in the standard of living of families,” said the young MP.
“In April this year, the value of goods and services exported to the United States from St. Kitts and Nevis dropped to US$5.9 million compared to US$6.4 million in April of 2015,” said Mr. Maynard, who noted that April 2014, the value of goods and services was recorded at US$7.3 million; US$7.3 million in April 2013; US$6.6 million in April 2012 and US$6.6 million in April 2011.
“It means that this year 2016 has been the least productive April in five years,” said Maynard.
He disclosed that the combined value of goods and services exported from St. Kitts and Nevis for the first four months of this year stood at US$17.8 million, which is down from US$24.4 million in 2015; US$20.7 million in 2014; US$18.7 million in 2013; US$20.1 million in 2012 and US$19 million in 2011.
“This first four months of 2016 has been the worst performance we have had in the last 5 years,” since 2011,” MP Maynard told listeners..
Jaro and Harowe Servo have had to lay off workers. “Usually this affects low-income earners and especially single mothers in our country. This is combined with the cutbacks Kittitian Hill, T-Loft, Pelican Bay/Embassy Suites, Heldons and other developments around the country. People are feeling the contraction of the economy which was bustling at six and seven percent in the last 2 years and now it is projected to grow at half that in 2016. That is significant and really a negative direction to what we were doing in the previous years,” said Mr Maynard.