In late 2015 data from the Central Bank showed that the bulk of the foreign

In late 2015 data from the central bank showed that

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In late 2015, data from the Central Bank showed that the bulk of the foreign currency was allocated to the retail and distribution sector. In April 2015, Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) downgraded Trinidad and Tobago’s government bond rating and issuer rating from Baa1 to Baa2, and changed its outlook from Stable to Negative. The downgrade was principally linked to persistent fiscal deficits and very little fiscal reforms, a gen- eral decline in energy prices and limited economic diversification leading to declining growth pros- pects, weak macroeconomic policy framework due to prolonged delays in implementing a medium term fiscal strategy and insufficient macroeco- nomic data to inform policy 1 . In April 2016, Trinidad and Tobago was further downgraded from Baa2 to Baa3 and the Central Statistical Office (CSO) has estimated negative growth of 2.3 percent for the year 2016. The impact of the significant expenditure on social protection, public order and safety, housing and health (Appendix I) on key socio-economic indi- 1 2015 Review of the Economy, Ministry of Finance, Trinidad and Tobago. cators, revealed a disproportionately lower level of development progress than expected, although there were some notable accomplishments. Some of the positive results pertained to the education sector as the Tertiary Participation Rate increased from 15 percent in 2004 to 60 percent in 2015. Enrolment rates were also very high as net second- ary and pre-school enrolment reached 89.9 and 89 percent, respectively, in 2009, and 92.3 per- cent of students completed primary school. Fur- ther, gender parity for all levels of education was achieved in 2009. 2 2 Trinidad and Tobago, Millennium Development Goals Report, 2014. Trinidad and Tobago has performed relatively well , when compared to other similarly placed countries such as Bahrain. 13-14 V I S I O N 2 0 3 0 N AT I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T S T R AT E GY 2 0 1 6 - 2 0 3 0 Reviewing Performance and Looking to the Future US$2.441B ~US$9.5b 15% 60% Shortfall in the foreign exchange market in 2015 Increase in Tertiary Participation Rate from 2004 to 2015 Official reserves in 2016
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There are several other noteworthy achievements of which we can be proud. First, GDP has increased from 83.1 billion in 2004, to 145.9 billion in 2016. In terms of economic structure, the financial services sector increased its contribution to GDP, almost doubling from 11.7 billion in 2004 to 21.2 billion in 2016. In terms of the exter- nal sector, the exchange rate was relatively stable throughout the review period. Also, as a result of current account surpluses over the period, with the exception of 2012, official reserves increased significantly from approximately US$3 billion in 2004 to US$11.5 billion in 2014 before declining to approximately US$ 9.5 billion in 2016. Further, over the period, unemployment and inflation have shown very positive signs. In fact, unemployment had been on a down- ward trend from 8.4 percent in 2004 to 3.4 percent in 2015, before increasing to 4.4 percent in June 2016. On the other hand, while inflation increased from 3.7 percent in 2004 to 12 percent in 2008, it subsequently fluctuated between 7 and 10.5 percent during 2009
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