Caribbean Region Quarterly Bulletin: Volume 5, Issue 2: June 2016

Jun 2016
A moniker often invoked to describe the Caribbean is: "high debt, low growth." It was never completely true. Today it may have become so. The tourism countries, Jamaica, Barbados, and The Bahamas, are still in distress from the tailwinds from the world crisis of 2009. The commodity-exporting countries, Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, relatively unscathed by that crisis, face strong headwinds as the international commodity boom wanes. In this overview of the region we explore answers to four questions: Is public debt too high? If so, what should be the change in the fiscal stance? How would higher economic growth help? Are fiscal buffers adequate in case downside risks in the world economy materialise?