BASSETERRE, St Kitts (SKNIS) — The citizens of St Kitts and Nevis stand to benefit from the major developments around the federation, as they aid in the positive growth shown in the country’s economy.
At the consultation on the economy last week, prime minister and minister with responsibility for finance, Dr Denzil Douglas, said, “With respect to the economy, I am pleased to inform you that we have observed signs of recovery in the first half of 2013.”
He added, “This was evident by a 1.9 percent growth in real gross domestic product (GDP), following four consecutive years of constraint in economic activity.”
According to Douglas, the expansion in the country’s GDP, resulted from growth in the tourism sector, particularly stay over arrivals and a strong rebound in construction activity.
“The construction sector was positively impacted by public sector construction activities such as major road and drainage work,” he said. “Added to that, various private sector projects, including the continuation of work on hotel and real estate development projects, also contributed to this.”
The prime minister stated that the inflation rate for 2012, was reduced to 1.4 percent from 7.1 percent in 2011, and expressed how happy he was where the fiscal side is concerned.
“On the fiscal side, I am happy to report strong performances of the consolidated overall and primary balances, that is, the fiscal out turn of both the central government and the Nevis Island Administration (NIA),” he said. “By the end of 2012, these balances exceeded the targets to which they committed under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) standby arrangement.”
Douglas noted that the Citizen by Investment programme contributed greatly to positive fiscal results, as well as the government’s own expenditure containment measures. He emphasized, that the debt restructuring programme is indeed progressing, with the total disburse outstanding debt down to just about 100 percent of GDP at the end of September 2013.
“This was the position following the restructuring of some our bonds and loans,” he said. “Most recently, the impact of the first phase of the debt for land swap.”
The consultation on the economy was held under the theme ‘Green Economy; Pathway towards a Sustainable Future’.