The economic and financial implications of the coronavirus crisis on the Caribbean is the focus of the newly released Caribbean Quarterly Bulletin from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The report assesses the economic impacts of the virus on key sectors including trade and tourism, reviews policies being undertaken by governments in the region, and provides recommendations regarding further efforts policymakers should take in order to mitigate the economic fallout of the crisis.
The report notes that the crisis is unprecedented, and that its economic impact is likely to be severe for The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago – IDB member-countries covered in the Quarterly Bulletin.
It presents newly developed data, and uses scenarios to highlight the potential magnitude of economic shocks to Caribbean countries. It also explores various transmission channels thorough which the crisis will impact economies in the region, and highlights some of the most important vulnerabilities that policymakers will have to focus on when developing their response packages.
It recommends that governments in the region take immediate action to contain both the virus itself, and its economic impacts via prudent use of the full spectrum of policy measures available to them.
Measures to flatten the curve are essential to “keep the human capital stock healthy, for when the crisis is over.” The study also says that given limited fiscal space and the importance of safeguarding long-term debt sustainability, policy measures should be “targeted and temporary.”