Washington – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday said economic growth rebounded “strongly” last year in St Kitts-Nevis despite global headwinds and that gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have grown by nine per cent in 2022 after contracting 14.5 per cent in 2020 and 0.9 per cent in 2021.
In a statement the Washington-based financial institution said the lifting of all COVID-related travel restrictions in August last year sparked a strong rebound in the tourism sector and across the economy.
“The authorities’ proactive policy response, facilitated by the fiscal buffers accumulated from a decade of prudent fiscal policy, helped shelter domestic prices from high global energy and food prices,” it said, noting that these measures nonetheless took a heavy toll on fiscal accounts in 2022.
According to the IMF, the primary balance ex-Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBI) revenue and land buybacks, deteriorated to a deficit of 17 per cent of GDP as against 15 per cent in 2021.
The IMF said large CBI inflows in 2022 helped finance this expansion, keeping public debt below the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) regional target of 60 per cent of GDP.
Under the CBI programme, foreign investors are granted citizenship of the twin island Federation in return for making a substantial investment in the socio-economic development of the island.
The IMF said that return to the pre-pandemic activity level is expected by the end of next year and beyond that, growth should converge towards its medium-term path. (CMC)