Caribbean Region Quarterly Bulletin: Volume 8 Issue 1: March 2019

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Mar 2019
The March 2019 Caribbean Region Quarterly Bulletin focuses on a specific challenge for the Caribbean economies – insufficient financial inclusion, which can hold back growth, development, and efforts to reduce poverty.
Emerging research suggests positive linkages between financial depth, access to finance, and development outcomes, including economic growth and poverty reduction. For firms – particularly small and newly established enterprises – access to financial services is associated with stronger innovation, job creation, and growth performance. Other research also finds a strong positive relationship between financial inclusion and income equality. In this context, many countries around the world have begun to design financial development and inclusion strategies and polices with the aim of supporting faster and more inclusive economic growth. The regional and country-specific briefs in this Quarterly Bulletin focus on these issues in an effort to go beyond the headline data and examine the key factors that may be holding back financial development, access, and inclusion in the Caribbean. The analysis considers a number of related indicators linked to common challenges facing small and medium-sized enterprises and individuals in accessing credit and financial services. Related policy initiatives and options are also explored, with a view to highlighting country-specific recommendations with the potential to support broader financial access and inclusion.