Subdued economic growth
Economic conditions within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are expected to remain relatively subdued over the next few months even as preliminary data suggest that economic activity in the sub-region expanded at a modest pace during the period January to June 2013.
The St. Kitts-based Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in the just released April to June 2013 Economic and Financial Review noted that the major sectors such as construction, hotels and restaurants, agriculture, livestock and forestry recorded an increase in output.
But it noted that output in the wholesale and retail trade and financial intermediation sectors contracted. The ECCB said the expansion of economic activity was reflective of the general improved performance across the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) member countries with the exception of Anguilla, which recorded negative economic growth during the first half of 2013.
Construction activity, which is one of the major drivers of economic activity in the sub-region, is estimated to have increased at a measured pace during the first six months of 2013 in contrast to contraction in the corresponding period of 2012.
“The pick-up in construction sector activity was especially robust in the public sector as the performance in the private sector was somewhat restrained,” the ECCB said, noting that public sector construction was robust in Grenada, Montserrat, St. Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines while Dominica and Anguilla were the only countries to record a reduction in capital outlays.