The findings of the 2020 Annual Economic and Financial Review reveal that the economies of the ECCU countries suffered significant setback in 2020, mainly because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) produces the Report twice per year. The Acting Deputy Director and Economist at the Research Department, Beverley Labadie, is guest on this week’s episode of ECCB Connects. In highlighted the key findings of the Report, she explains that the ECCU economies contracted by 14 per cent. The Tourism Industry which is a major money earner for the countries, registered the highest decline of 65.4 per cent.
Labadie says that with many individuals losing part or all of their livelihoods during the period, governments have had to provide financial assistance and that resulted in increased expenditure. The governments also recorded decrease revenues. In light of this reality, Labadie says that it is hardly surprising that all eight ECCU countries registered contractions in economic activity.
She added that over the past two decades, before 2020, the last time the region registered a sharp downward spike was in 2009, when economic activity fell by about six per cent
However, the ECCB is optimistic that the affected sectors, including the hotel, agriculture and manufacturing industries, will perform better in 2021.
For more information on the findings of the 2020 ECCB Economic and Financial Review, check out this week’s episode of ECCB Connects.