IMF: T&T’s Projected 2023 Growth Higher than Government Prediction

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By Sue-Ann Wayow

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that Trinidad and Tobago’s economy has a projected growth for 2023 at 3.2%, even higher than the Government’s own projections for growth.

This was welcoming news for the Ministry of Finance as Finance Minister Colm Imbert said, “Such positive outlook is notable given the complicated international economic context.”

Last year’s projected growth was 2.5%.

On Thursday,  the IMF produced the Concluding Statement of its two-week 2023 Article IV Mission to Trinidad and Tobago – an annual check by international experts of Trinidad and Tobago’s economy and finances. 

Imbert in a media release thanked the IMF for its work during its two week mission.

The ministry also  stated that overall, the public debt trajectory was expected to be broadly stable until 2028, notwithstanding materially more pessimistic oil and gas price projections.

The IMF’s headline central government debt/GDP metric puts Trinidad and Tobago’s Central Government debt at 53.8% of GDP for 2022, and 53.9% in 2023.

Trinidad and Tobago’s more conservative approach to the quantification of country debt, namely Public Sector Debt which, in addition to Central Government debt, includes a considerable amount of Government-guaranteed debt, has also stabilised at 71% according to the IMF, after a significant decline from post-Covid heights, and is now well below other Caricom and Latin American  countries, the release stated.

Imbert said, “The IMF’s acknowledgment of the prudence, resilience and medium-term orientation of our fiscal policy is indeed gratifying coming as it does after the multiple shocks faced by Trinidad and Tobago and the world economy over the last three years.” 

The ministry stated that the IMF has encouraged to continue maintaining sound and consistent policies to support the current exchange rate arrangements while acknowledging the need to balance growth and price stability objectives. 

It also points to the need to increase efforts to diversify the economy.

Imbert said, “The IMF’s guidance and encouragement are very useful and timely…It is our intention indeed to accelerate our diversification efforts and build on the foundation we have laid of sound fiscal and financial policies.”

The IMF additionally encouraged the ministry to continue building buffers in the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund. 


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