Economy & Business - October 2021

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Budgeting for a slow recovery

Trinidad & Tobago has been suffering from years of slow or negative growth which has now been compounded by the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic even though Trinidad is not one of the Caribbean’s severely tourist-dependent countries. In the 12 years from 2009-2020, the country has recorded no less than eight years of negative growth. Only in four out of the last 12 years has it shown growth, and the best of those years was as far back as 2010 when the economy bounced back with a 3.5% expansion after the 2009 contraction of -4.8%. Since 2015, when the economy grew by 1.5%, the results have been consistently dire, with 2016’s contraction of -5.6% followed by -3.0% in 2017, 0.1% in 2018, and -1.2% in 2019. Then the Covid-19 pandemic struck, leading to a contraction of -7.8% in 2020. This was the background against which Finance Minister Colm Imbert presented his 2021/22 budget to parliament on 3 October.

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