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East Caribbean Business Forecast Report Q3 2013

East Caribbean Business Forecast Report Q3 2013 - new country guide report published

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2014-02-19 08:01:04 - East Caribbean Business Forecast Report Q3 2013 - a new country guide report on

We maintain our view for a continued modest recovery in the East Caribbean Region over the coming quarters. While we expect the more diversified economies will benefit from slightly stronger global growth this year, we anticipate that those most reliant on tourism and financial services are likely to continue to struggle.

Although our Commodities team expects food price inflation to remain relatively elevated in H113, these price pressures are set to ease in the second half of the year. As such, we believe the supplyside inflationary pressures that have impacted the region in recent quarters will gradually ease.

The region´s fiscal outlook remains mixed. While Moody´s downgrade of Barbados in December 2012 was not surprising, it highlights concerns over the trajectory of



fiscal spending in some of the region´s economies. Indeed, we believe Trinidad & Tobago´s fiscal accounts will post deficits in the coming years, after posting surpluses for most of the last decade. While we believe that the country´s fiscal accounts will remain stable in the next few years, a failure to cut down on rising expenditures could see the fiscal accounts deteriorate more markedly in the medium term.

Major Forecast Changes

A weaker outlook for Trinidad & Tobago´s oil and gas sector prompted us to downgrade our 2014 real GDP growth forecast from 3.5% to 3.0%, and from 3.9% to 3.5% for 2015.

We have revised down our 2013 forecast for the Guyanese dollar, as we expect the Bank of Guyana will allow for greater exchange rate flexibility in order to boost export competitiveness. We now forecast the Guyanese dollar will end 2013 at GYD214.00/US$, weaker than our previous forecast of GYD209.00/US$, and also weaker than its end-2012 GYD204.00/US$ level.

Key Risks To Outlook

Upside Risks: A stronger-than-expected economic recovery in the US could lead to larger export receipts, stronger remittances and a boost in tourism for many East Caribbean economies.

Downside Risks: An escalation of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis or a slowing of the US economic recovery could feed through to slower export and tourism receipts for many of these economies, weighing on economic growth.The price of this market report covers 4 quarterly reports on this sector. This quarterly report will be downloadable instantly as a PDF document, with the 3 remaining reports delivered at regular intervals throughout the year.

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Mike King
Phone: London: +44 (0) 203 086 8600

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