Friday, July 3, 2020

COVID-19, the Caribbean and what comes next

By Scott B. MacDonald

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major unexpected economic blow for the Caribbean.

In 2019 most of the region had enjoyed continued economic expansion and forecasts for 2020 were promising. COVID-19, which arrived in the Caribbean in March, changed that. With the interruption of tourism and severe global downturn, many Caribbean nations have been forced to scramble to keep their economies afloat; and a number are finding themselves squeezed in terms of their ability to repay their international debt obligations.

No doubt 2020 will go down as one of the worst years in memory for the Caribbean. The IMF is forecasting a 10.3 percent contraction for tourist dependent economies before a recovery in 2021 of 4.8 percent growth. This has important implications for what the Caribbean is going to look like at the other end of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read more >>