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HomeBusinessCariCRIS affirms BBB+ (Adequate) for St Lucia - let's talk inflation

CariCRIS affirms BBB+ (Adequate) for St Lucia – let’s talk inflation

By Caribbean News Global contributor

— The primary purpose of this information-sharing session, … is to provide an open forum for public discourse …

— One can distil many inferences and contrasts from the figures highlighted, knowing that real GDP is adjusted for inflation, while nominal GDP isn’t. However, these explanations are best suited as a function of trained minds – outside the limitation of political pundits, hasty talk shops and crafty bloggers.

CASTRIES, St Lucia – The government of Saint Lucia received CariCRIS rating, income and economic structure: BBB+ (Adequate), according to a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister, (OPM) Thursday, December 7, 2023.

The OPM statement noted limited extracts of the report, in the interest of transparency and accountability that: “Saint Lucia’s nominal GDP remains the largest in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) sub-region at US $2.3 billion in 2022. The economic base continues to be among the most diversified in the OECS.”

The three largest components of real GDP for 2022 were:

  • Accommodation and food services (18.2%);
  • Real estate activities (10.7%);
  • Wholesale and retail trade (10.6%).

Declaring the Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services Limited (CariCRIS), the OPM highlighted:

“While this diversity exists as per industry classifications, tourism-related activities remain the lead driver of economic activity. Additionally, tourism continues to employ a significant share of the labour force. Real GDP improved by 18.1 percent in 2022 compared to the prior year’s improvement of 12.2 percent.”

One can distil many inferences and contrasts from the figures highlighted, knowing that real GDP is adjusted for inflation, while nominal GDP isn’t. However, these explanations are best suited as a function of trained minds – outside the limitation of political pundits, hasty talk shops and crafty bloggers.

The government of Saint Lucia says it seeks to “demonstrate commitment to openness and transparency to build public trust in the government and its ability to manage taxpayer dollars wisely,” and that “preparations for the 2024/25 budget are well underway,” the OPM advised on November 10, 2025.

The ministry of commerce, manufacturing, business development, cooperatives and consumer affairs announced Wednesday, that it will be collaborating with the department of finance to host a public consultation on inflation.

“Given our current local and global economic realities as reflected in the price of commodities, this discussion is timely, relevant and necessary. The primary purpose of this information-sharing session, slated for Thursday 14 December, 2023 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., is to provide an open forum for public discourse guided by Dr Adrian Augier, economic development consultant, and a panel of relevant experts from business representative organizations supported by technical resources from the public sector.”

The ministry of commerce rationale for the public consultation on inflation, advised:

“This discussion is intended to gauge public sentiment on the subject, provide a prime sounding board for the examination of concerns and recommendations of stakeholders, and most importantly assist the average consumer who may be feeling the pinch at the register to better understand the drivers of the price shock being experienced.”

A commenter with the handle – AbehBON December 7, 2023 At 2:55 pm wrote: “Perhaps the government should consider this kind of platform and interaction for other issues plaguing our society; healthcare, infrastructure, education… Dare I even ask for a political debate that is fairly moderated, with questions from the public, aired live on NTN?

The government of Saint Lucia should have a lot of data on inflation at their disposal, including the comparison of and the understanding of how monetary, fiscal and financial policy works alongside different policy frameworks. 

Changes in the economy are being felt throughout the economy of Saint Lucia. The political and policy decisions taken likewise affect the lives of every Saint Lucian. Good planning starts with good listening, taking sound advice, and the application of policies that support price stability and monetary policy framework.

The government approach has not succeeded in keeping inflation low, and a robust economy that projects confidence when making important financial decisions.

Amid inflation-control targeting that affects “imported inflation” a compounded 2.5 percent health and security levy is not improving such an approach, side-by-side, inconsistent fiscal and financial stability policies.

Public consultations on inflation targeting provide an opportunity for revision to juxtapose policies and decisions; and how the views of the people and various sectors might improve the policy approach.

Saint Lucians know and can feel in their pockets when the “economy is in good hands and doing well.” Economic viability is also noticeable this festive season, when a pin-drop is visible on the sidewalk.

The public consultation on inflation when viewed against other decisions – no consultation – will do well to publish a report summarizing what the government learned, and what is their clear thinking on the best policy framework moving forward. 

The OPM press release on the ongoing preparations for budget 2024/25, declared:

“The consultations allow the prime minister to get input on a range of issues, including economic trends, social needs, national security and infrastructure priorities. The input and feedback from the department heads can help to ensure that the budget agenda is comprehensive and responsive to the needs of all citizens.

“This consultative process also helps to identify and address potential risks and challenges. By getting feedback from experienced and knowledgeable department heads, technocrats and other senior public officers, the prime minister can better weigh the potential outcomes of different budget decisions to maximize benefits and restrict unintended downsides.”

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