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IMF ranks Suriname top three in regional growth

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PARAMARIBO–The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has increased its economic growth projection for Suriname from 4.5 per cent to 4.7 per cent in 2013. In its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) published last week, the watchdog says that Suriname is among the top three Caribbean nations that are expected to top the region’s growth. Guyana is projected at 5.3 per cent and Haiti at 3.4 per cent growth, the fund said.

 

IMF noted that Suriname is heavily dependent on its primary industries and that the country has done well in the past four years, mostly due to investments spurred by the favorable prices for oil and gold. Expectations are that in the large scale gold industry alone, there will be some US$ 500 million in investments in 2014.

The fund’s forecast for 2014 was lower: four percent.

IMF said that overall the Caribbean is projected to expand by 2¾ percent in 2013, the lowest rate in four years. The economies of Latin America and the Caribbean remain in low gear, held back by a less favorable external environment and, in some cases, domestic supply constraints. “Going forward, growth will edge up to 3 percent in 2014 as external demand strengthens gradually, but remain below the average growth rate of the last decade,” the fund said.

It said activity will be weak in much of the Caribbean, as tourism flows remain subdued and construction activity contracts. “High debt levels, weak competitiveness, and rising financial vulnerabilities continue to constrain fiscal policy and growth prospects. Overall, downside risks dominate the outlook.”

For Jamaica the IMF forecast 0.4 per cent growth this year, compared to its April estimate of 0.5 per cent. Barbados is expected to decline by 0.8 per cent and for St Lucia growth is projected at 0.2 per cent this year. Growth projections for Dominica, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago were all lowered in the WEO report.

IMF trimmed its forecast for global economic growth, with 2.9 percent growth this year, a cut of 0.3 per cent from July’s estimate. In 2014 it expects global growth of 3.6 per cent, down 0.2 per cent.  The fund cited weakness in emerging economies for the cut and explained that the change in forecast is due in part to expectations of a change in policy by United States central bank, the Federal Reserve.