The Central bank of Trinidad and Tobago has published the Annual Economic Survey 2016. The following are some main points:
- The economy contracted further in 2016 by 2.3%. Oil and natural gas production fell by 9.1% and 13.2% respectively. All sectors except finance and agriculture experienced declines.
- The unemployment rate rose to 4.1% from 3.4%. The labour participation rate fell from 60.7% to 60% as those unable to find work exit the job market.
- The fiscal deficit stood at 5% of GDP ($7.3bn), government spending declined by 12.9% and Central Bank sales of foreign exchange to authorized dealers decreased by 31.4% (reserves stand at a10-month import cover).
- A marginal improvement is projected for 2017 as the energy sector is expected to be boosted by three natural gas projects: the Trinidad Onshore Compression project, the Sercan Field project and bpTT’s Juniper project.