"Real Gains, Costly Losses"
Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is believed to have rebounded in the fourth quarter, following what recent data indicate was a modest contraction in the previous quarter. Republic Bank estimates that output increased by 2 percent in the fourth quarter relative to the third, due in part to a resurgence in energy sector production. In spite of a relatively buoyant distribution sector in recent months, price increases were generally moderate in the quarter. The most recent labour data available puts the unemployment rate at a record low 3.7 percent for the first quarter of 2013. However, with Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprises figures showing a 16.5 percent increase in retrenchment notices for the first 10 months of 2013, we believe the unemployment rate inched up to 4 percent for the final 3 months of 2013. Despite the prospect of increased economic activity in the short term, recent incidents of environmental degradation are likely to add to upward pressure on the unemployment rate as they negatively impact on some communities and businesses.
The Republic Economic Newsletter is published in March, June, September and December by the Republic Bank Limited, Trinidad and Tobago.