Economic growth in the Caribbean has not been impressive thus far in 2013.
While Guyana and Suriname performed strongly between January and June with GDP growth rates of 3.9% and 4.5% respectively, Trinidad and Tobago modesty grew by 2.1% while the other countries namely Belize, the ECCU, Curacao and Sint Maarten, reported positive growth rates which did not grow faster than 1%. Some countries actually contracted, namely Barbados by 0.6%, Jamaica by 0.7%. The strong performers did so because of the buoyancy of their mineral commodity exports. Some of the poorly performing economies reflected continuing weakness in tourism and related economic industries, while others had depressed or sluggish activity in other sectors including agriculture, construction, manufacturing and energy.
The economic growth prospects for Caribbean economies in 2013 are more favourable than the experience of 2012 when many ECCU member countries and Jamaica regressed. The International Monetary Fund projections are that in 2013 The Bahamas, Belize, the ECCU and Jamaica will grow within a range of 0%- 2%, with ECCU members Grenada and St Lucia together with Jamaica being at the lower end of the range. Haiti will grow at 2.8% respectively. Growth in Guyana and Suriname will be faster at 5.3% and 4.7% respectively. Barbados is the only country projected to decline in 2013 with a 0.8% fall in GDP. The International Monetary Fund expects even stronger economic growth performance in 2014 in The Bahamas, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The economic growth rate is forecast to become slower in Suriname and be a larger negative in Barbados.