ECCU tipped to record growth of 3.5% in 2020

The Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) is slated to record growth of 3.3% in 2019, with a further 3.5% growth projected for 2020.

In making the announcement in his Christmas Message, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Governor, Timothy Antoine readily acknowledged the many challenges facing the currency union.

The currency union comprises the islands of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Governor Antoine identified these challenges, which includes the existential threat of climate crisis, the ongoing threat of loss of correspondent banking relations and high unemployment among the youths.

Notwithstanding these challenges, the ECCB Governor stressed that this year 2019; the currency union is set to record solid growth of about 3.3 per cent.

”Throughout the year, we vigorously pursued our Transformation Agenda including, inter alia the launch of the first phase of our Digital Currency Pilot; the launch of polymer notes; and the completion of phase I of our Campus Greening Programme (solar carport),” Governor Antoine emphasised.

According to Governor Antoine, at this time the ECCB is projecting growth in 2020 to be in the order of 3.5%, underlining that an exciting year beckons. He pointed that three of the bank’s key priorities in 2020 will be financial stability, digital transformation and climate resilience.

This is coming on the heel of the launch of a Digital Currency Pilot and the launch of polymer notes over the past few weeks. Governor Antoine expressed gratitude the territories were spared the onslaught of any hurricane during the just past hurricane season.

The ECCU have a total population around 630,000. Its common currency has been pegged to the U.S. dollar since 1976, and the ECCB secures the peg by maintaining very high foreign reserve coverage of the monetary base (typically over 90 percent).

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