by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its October 2021 global projections for Gross Domestic Product, St. Kitts and Nevis is on an upwards trend with an anticipated 10 percent growth for 2022.
A 10 percent growth rate could be good news for businesses struggling due to the pandemic. A rebound is expected after the decline of the Federation’s GDP in 2020 -14.4 percent and 2021 at -1 percent.
On the heels of these projections, Prime Minister the Hon Dr Timothy Harris suggests that the Budget for 2022 will propel the expected growth rate in GDP.
“Our budget will be one important instrument which will propel that growth and keep St. Kitts and Nevis moving in the right direction with visible improvements in our people’s standard of living. That is more jobs, higher incomes, better homes and more opportunities,” said Dr Harris during the November 02 broadcast of Leadership Matters.
The budget address for 2022 is expected in December of this year, and we await to see if it will rival the EC$867.9 million federal budget for 2021, considering the economic situation in SKN.
The return of cruise tourism, with 78 calls expected for the rest of the year and 64 for the first quarter of 2022, signals a turning point for the country’s economy.
During Leadership Matters, the Prime Minister also announced some concessions for the remainder of 2021, which will extend into 2022 in the form of duty and tax-free imports on the first 500lbs of food from November 15 to February 2022.
“In making this concession available for such an unprecedented long period, we took into account delays in shipment of goods now being experienced around the world,” said Dr Harris, referencing the backlog of goods being shipped to and from the US and China that has been ongoing for the last few months which is blamed not just an increase in consumer spend online but also on COVID-19 restrictions.
Other concessions announced by the Prime Minister included an increase on duty-free allowance on goods worth EC$540 (US$200) for December and no VAT on the first EC$50,000 for vehicles.