Developing Quarterly GDP in the Caribbean


Policymakers require high frequency estimates of GDP to promptly identify current developments in economic activity. However, due to limited source data and resources, most of the national statistical offices in the Caribbean experience difficulties in developing quarterly GDP. Before 2015, only three countries in the region (Barbados, Belize, and Jamaica) compiled the estimates.


To address these obstacles, the IMF assisted the Caribbean countries with a holistic approach, ranging from advice on staffing to assessment of data sources, via its regional technical assistance center, the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC). The IMF also collaborated closely with other regional development partners, especially Statistics Canada.


From 2015 to 2017, six countries in the region (Bermuda, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) have commenced compiling and releasing quarterly GDP. During 2018, it is expected that the Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago will also be producing and disseminating quarterly GDP. The achievements support informed economic policy-making by the authorities.