The Grenada Government has significantly reduced its monthly fiscal gap. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, in his presentation at the recently concluded Budget Retreat made the revelation.
“…the fiscal gap stood at EC$18.0M per month at the start of 2013. Colleagues, we have made significant progress in correcting this significant problem; thereby allowing us to meet our obligations in a timely manner. The fiscal gap is now around $1.1M per month. Our efforts must therefore continue to ensure that fiscal discipline is maintained.”
Since coming into Office, putting Government finances on a sound footing was highlighted as a key priority. Accordingly, in the first 10 months of 2014, over $4.6M was saved inclusive of $2.5M in electricity costs and $0.9M in communications (mobile phones and overseas calling), and $0.4M in fuel costs among other areas. These costs savings, as well as improvement in revenue collections, assisted in reducing the fiscal gap to the present level.
The Prime Minister also spoke of Government’s continued commitment to the Homegrown Structural Adjustment Program in light of the successes thus far.
He spoke of the continued growth of the local economy in 2015, which is expected to grow by 2%. Essentially, this would mean the third consecutive year of positive growth, following on the 4.8% in 2014 and 3.2% in 2013. This growth has been primarily generated by areas such as tourism, agriculture, education and construction.
The growth prospects for 2016 is also very optimistic and is expected to contribute to a further reduction in the unemployment level, which remains a major issue particularly among youth and women.