Caribbean Region Quarterly Bulletin: Volume 6: Issue 3: September 2017

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Sep 2017
All countries in the Caribbean face fiscal challenges. On the one hand, the countries that depend on tourism – Jamaica, Barbados, and The Bahamas – are at different stages of dealing with the tailwinds from the 2009 global financial crisis. All are making adjustments, with Jamaica ahead because it started aggressive fiscal consolidation in 2013. On the other hand, the commodity-exporting countries of Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, which were relatively unscathed by the global financial crisis, have been strongly affected by the fall in international commodity prices in the last three years, especially oil. Guyana is an outlier, with strong growth supported by elevated gold prices. The introductory section summarizes fiscal challenges facing the region. As in the country sections that follow, we explore issues related to debt, revenue, and expenditure, then conclude with policy recommendations.