ECCB highlights economic conditions in Caribbean region
ECCB highlights economic conditions in Caribbean region

Saint Lucia: A report produced by ECCB Governor Timothy Antoine has detailed the monetary, credit and financial conditions in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union from January to June of 2022. The region’s growth and competitiveness were one of the many focal points highlighted.

Recently appointed Chair of the ECCB and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Philip J Pierre, noted improvements in economic sectors.

“Council was informed that the recovery has been spreading, albeit slowly, throughout various sectors of the ECCU’s economy. Cruise ship arrivals and stay-over arrivals have increased relative to the end of December 2021, and ECCU member countries have opened with minimal restrictions for travellers. Cruise arrivals rose to 656,011 at the end of March 2022 and are expected to increase in 2022 as COVID-19 protocols continue to ease. Ongoing challenges hamper the recovery of tourism with air connectivity in the region. The construction sector also continues to recover, bolstered by capital investment member governments.”

The Saint Lucian Prime Minister also acknowledges challenges to economic recovery.

“Higher levels of inflation are adversely impacting economic activity in 2022 due to the war in Ukraine and associated economic sanctions, higher energy prices, supply chain disruptions and low air transport connectivity. For example, stay-over arrivals from the Caribbean, which averaged 20.0 percent of total stay-over arrivals in 2019, averaged only 6.5 percent in March 2022. This lower level of arrivals from the Caribbean indicates the air connectivity challenge within the ECCU.”

The ECCB Monetary Council meeting was held on Friday, July 22, 2022.