IMF Advocates Strong Fiscal & Debt Management Policies

March 24, 2009

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Public Debt Ratio Has Fallen 20% Since 2005

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
March 24, 2009 (CUOPM)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the overdraft of the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has decreased by more than 50 percent between December 2007 and mid-year 2008 and advocated continued strong fiscal and debt management policies and practices.

Minister of State for Information, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty disclosed that during Monday’s Cabinet Meeting, the March 18th session of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Federal Cabinet, the Hon Premier of Nevis and the Financial Secretaries for the Federal Government and the Nevis Island Administration was reviewed. The meeting last week came at the conclusion of the annual Article IV assessment mandated by the IMF for all countries who subscribe to the institution.

“The Fund concluded that the policies have resulted in four (4) consecutive years of primary fiscal surpluses since 2004, compared to the entire Eastern Caribbean Currency Union which recorded a primary deficit over the same period,” said Mr. Carty.

He disclosed that the IMF advised that as a result of improved debt management combined with overall economic growth, the public debt ratio has fallen 20 percent since 2005.

“It however urged that the government be careful to continue to observe and strengthen its current fiscal policies to keep public sector debt on a downward path, and projected that under such a scenario the primary balance would approach 10 percent surplus of GDP and the public debt ratio would decrease by about 40 percent by the year 2014,” said Minister Carty.

“All these are movements in the right direction, the IMF assessed, but added that these gains need to be protected through the maintenance of strong fiscal and debt management policies and practices,” added Minister Carty.

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