ECLAC Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena (middle) during the launch of the report in Mexico City. (Photo by ECLAC)

MEXICO CITY – St. Kitts and Nevis is among 11 Caribbean nations whose economies are expected to expand 1.5 percent in 2018, despite external uncertainties, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Annual Report.

The 234-page Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2018, available online at www.cepal.org, contains dozens of pages containing detailed information and charts showing economic data about St. Kitts and Nevis imports, exports and expenditures and compare them with other Caribbean and Latin American nations.

The report says these nations stand out because of their robust net imports of energy products (almost 40 percent of their total commodities trade) and in general, they are net importers of food. The islands ECLAC highlighted in this analysis are: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.

In an international context marked by uncertainty and volatility, ECLAC indicated the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean will grow 1.5 percent on average in 2018, thanks to a rebound in domestic demand, private consumption especially, and a slight increase in investment.

The annual report one of the organization’s most traditional publications, issued uninterruptedly since the year of its founding (1948) – was released Aug. 24 during a press conference at ECLAC’s Subregional Headquarters in Mexico, in Mexico City, by its Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena.

According to the document, overall average growth in the region – the projection of which declined by seven-tenths versus the last estimate provided by the organization in April – maintains a positive trend, despite showing signs of slowing.

As on previous occasions, there is great heterogeneity among the various countries and subregions, since South America is expected to grow 1.2 percent in 2018, while Central America will notch 3.4 percent growth and the Caribbean 1.7 percent.

The Economic Survey adds that this regional growth is occurring in a complex global scenario, characterized by trade disputes between the United States, China and other nations; growing geopolitical risks; a decline in capital flows toward emerging markets in the last few months and a rise in sovereign risk levels; depreciations of local currencies against the dollar; and a global economic expansion that is tending to lose momentum.

“Our region continues to grow, although at a slower pace than what was projected several months ago, despite international turbulence,” Barcena said. “That is positive but it demands that we redouble our efforts to prompt a reactivation, without resorting to excessive fiscal adjustments. Regional integration can play an important role here, and we must aim in that direction.”