April 24, 2015
Eustace’s predictions on economic growth are always wrong – Gonsalves

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has neither confirmed nor denied that St Vincent and the Grenadines recorded negative economic growth for 2014, saying instead that the growth rate is revised at different points.{{more}}

“What will happen, there will be estimates which will be given for a particular period,” Gonsalves said on Wednesday, as he made reference to a report by the International Monetary Fund, which predicted that SVG would record 1.1 per cent economic growth for 2014.

He added that the preliminary figure is usually given before the year is completed and can fluctuate around the initial figure that was given.

“They say … the preliminary growth of the economy is so much. By the half of the subsequent year, they will be able to give you a revised figure. And sometimes, if you study the data over a period, a year and a half will go by and when they reviewing the data again, they even come up with a number to you which is either up or down from what they gave you a year ago,” the Finance Minister said.

Earlier this week, while speaking on the New Times radio programme, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace declared that this country had recorded negative growth and he challenged the Government to deny his claim.

However, Gonsalves declared that Eustace’s predictions on economic growth have been wrong on every single occasion.

“When we had negative growth in 2008, 2009, 2010, he had been saying that there was negative growth for 2011, 2012, for five years of continuous negative growth,” he said.

“I have always spoken the truth on the basis of the data. I said we had no economic growth in 2008, 2009, 2010. 2008 was marginal dip. When you have a negative growth roughly 2009, 2010, you have to watch it very closely. Then 2011, there was an uptick, 2012, there was an uptick, 2013, there was.”

Gonsalves added that the Opposition Leader has a negative stance on most issues in the country.

He adopts such a negative posture,” the Prime Minister said. “You can’t lead like that.”