ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, March 23, 2017 – GIS: Grenada has been commended for its strong performance in the final phase of the homegrown structural adjustment programme.
Head of the IMF Mission to Grenada Ms. Nicole LaFramboise says government has continued steadfast implementation of reforms and made progress toward achieving the key programme goals of restoring fiscal sustainability, strengthening the financial sector and paving the way for growth in the economy.
In essence, government has met all of the performance criteria and structural benchmarks due at the end of December 2016.
“Grenada has also taken important steps toward completing the comprehensive debt restructuring started in 2014.
Of the stock of total outstanding debt at the programme’s inception, well over 90% has been restructured,” LaFramboise said. “Public debt is now forecast to fall the end of this year to 72% of GDP - a drop of 36 percentage point from its peak of 108%, just three years ago.
This is a sizeable decline in the debt to GDP ratio, and is attributed to all three factors both on the numerator and the denominator, that is, debt relief and restructuring, strong fiscal adjustment of approximately of 9% of GDP over three years, and a strong GDP growth,” she explained.
Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Dr. Rt. Hon Keith Mitchell said sacrifice by all is responsible for the success they are experiencing.
“We have a situation that we feel that we can feel proud of as a nation. Coming from 108% of GDP to 72% cannot be achieved in that short period of time without a lot of hard work.
The changes at the revenue base areas of government have certainly led to tremendous success.
Having been in government for 30 years, I have never seen a time in government, in four successive years, that the revenues projected by government were surpassed in every single month,”Dr. Mitchell added.
The IMF official noted that while employment has grown on average by about 4% annually since 2014, unemployment is still high, especially among the youth.
Dr. Mitchell says work continues to turn this around.
“The unemployment of young people is a serious issue. I can’t feel good when I see a lot of young boys and girls still out there looking for opportunities and can’t find,” the Prime Minister expressed.