Saturday, January 20, 2018

CSO’s contraction estimate way off*

Finance Minister Colm Imbert during his presentation of the 2017/18 Budget in Parliament on October 2. Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has again revised downward its estimate for the decline in Trinidad and Tobago’s gross domestic product (GDP). The data initially supplied to the IMF substantially underestimated the depth of the downturn in the country’s economy, both the IMF and the Finance Ministry’s Review of the Economy 2017 have confirmed.
Questions were posed to Finance Minister Colm Imbert over the past two weeks by email, telephone and text messages, amid concerns the IMF was not getting full transparency and cooperation from the Finance Ministry, but instead, incomplete data in small doses, hence the reason for recurring downward revisions as the IMF learnt more. 

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