St. Kitts and Nevis’ economy ahead of those in the OAS

Everson Hull

Staff Writer

The Federation is doing well, compared to other member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS), according to a study conducted by Dr. Everson Hull, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Permanent Representative to the OAS.

The study, conducted by Dr. Hull, indicates the Federation’s economy is in a very strong state. Dr. Hull, a top economist in the region, encouraged by what he has seen in recent times.

A recent study, conducted by the Business Economist on the entire OAS region, revealed the Federation’s economy is “on balance” relative to the other 35 members states in the region.

“We are ahead of the class in terms of our per capita exports, that is the level of exports relative to size of the population,” Dr. Hull commented. “We are doing quite well, in fact, we are rated very high in the OAS region in terms of our exports out-pacing that of others.”

Dr. Hull commented on the economy and other topics during a recent exclusive interview with The Observer while in the Federation for Diplomatic Week. He said such data is important when factoring in the size of the population of St. Kitts and Nevis and the nation’s economy.

Additionally, he shot down the notion that the contraction in the global economy across the board is having an impact on the Federation, stating that St. Kitts and Nevis has been experiencing net inflows as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product.

According to Dr. Hull, that has been relatively high when compared to other OAS states.

Further, the federation has had strong performance in economic growth, which was indicated by Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris during his year-end address, Dr. Hull said.

“It means that we are on the right track.”

However, concerns were raised about the level of the daily worker productivity.

To this end, the soft spoken Hull explained he was instrumental in persuading the Prime Minister to implement a civil service compensation scheme.

This was announced by Dr. Harris during his budget address last December as a means to push civil service employees to meet their daily goals.

“The whole idea is civil servants are not giving their best when it comes to work, so you offer them an incentive,” Dr. Hull said. “An incentive means a cash award, possibly at the end of the year, which will give them a mark-up of, let us say 10 percent, on top of their base.”

He disclosed it is intended to send a signal to the entire staff, if you produce at your best or go faster it will raise productivity.

Against that backdrop, it was noted that the same number of persons working the same hours can produce a larger volume of output to shift the supply of all goods and services to the right.

“Whenever that happens, the rate of inflation and the price level is going to fall. And also as the base is falling it has the effect of raising the GDP level and per capita.”

In order to drive productivity, Dr. Hull reiterated the need for an incentive compensation.