The economy of St Kitts and Nevis has slowed tremendously over the past four years under the Timothy Harris-led coalition government, said Douglas Wattley, former chairman of the People’s Labour Party (PLP) of which Dr Timothy Harris is the political leader.
“The government finds itself in a precarious situation because it needs to enter the elections on a high note, but nothing they seem to do gives them any traction whatsoever,” Wattley said Sunday night during a special edition of his weekly radio programme “The Rebuttal” on Kyss 102.5 FM.
Wattley pointed out that there were better days for the economy and the people under the previous St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) Government of then Prime Minister the Rt Hon. Dr Denzil L Douglas, who when he demitted office in February 2015 left a robust economy of six percent of GDP in the years 2013 and 2014.
The 2015 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Report on St Kitts and Nevis dated September 2015 had stated “that stronger growth in 2013 and 2014 and sizable advance repayments have improved the debt outlook of the twin-island Federation and the St Kitts and Nevis’ Debt-to-GDP ratio declined to 79 percent of GDP at the end of 2014.”
Since taking office in mid-February 2015, the economy of St Kitts and Nevis has decelerated to 2.2 percent in 2015; 2.3 percent in 2016; 1.2 percent in 2017 and 2.5 percent in 2018.
According to Wattley, the coalition government led by Dr Harris “after four years cannot find their footing to prevent the continued deceleration of the St Kitts and Nevis economy and pointed out that the slide in the United States economy will be felt in St Kitts and Nevis and the rest of the Caribbean.
He said the failure of Dr Harris, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to make public the 2018 IMF Article IV Consultation of the economy of St Kitts and Nevis is evidence of a failing economy.
“The economy is already in a recession in St Kitts and Nevis,” said Wattley, who pointed out that Dr Harris is hiding an ugly picture of the economy by blocking the IMF Report.
“It will only get uglier here if there is a recession in the United States,” Wattley pointed out.