The Caribbean is battling a particularly difficult global environment. Economies throughout the region face serious challenges, although oil-rich Trinidad and Tobago is in better shape than most.
The Caribbean economy has
been hanging by a thread for the past 18 months, and that
thread continues to fray.The effects of a sluggish US economy,
weak commodity prices and high oil prices are wreaking havoc on
the Caribbean. Even an engine of growth like the Dominican
Republic, whose economy streaked ahead year after year in the
1990s, is faltering.
Jamaica faces the toughest battle by far. Fetid slums and
frighteningly high levels of violent crime blight Kingston, the
capital, in a harsh contrast to the country's idyllic coastal
resorts. The country suffered four major floods last year.
Unemployment is running at 14%. Growth has averaged 0.5% since
1997 and last year the economy sputtered along at 2% even
though the government ramped up spending ahead of elections in
November. Prime Minister PJ Patterson won a third term and the
People's National Party scored its fourth consecutive term
Already have an account?
Subscribe now for unlimited access to all current and archive news, data and market analysis.
Take a free two-week trial now for the latest news, data and market analysis.