5 percent during 2009 and 2010 before declining to 51 percent in 2011 Since

5 percent during 2009 and 2010 before declining to 51

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it subsequently fluctuated between 7 and 10.5 percent during 2009 and 2010 before declining to 5.1 percent in 2011. Since 2012, infla- tion has shown a downward trend as inflationary pressures in the economy have been more restrained declining from 9.3 percent to 3.1 percent in 2016, which is the lowest rate recorded for the period under review. While the external debt service ratio has remained low at around one percent of exports over the last 10 years, indicating a strong external debt position, the net public sector debt outstanding has been rising since 2008. In fact, whilst net public sector debt out- standing exceeded total government revenue by less than $2 bil- lion in 2010, the gap has increased to $19 billion in 2015, widening further to $44 billion in 2016 (Chart 2.1) . The net public sector debt to GDP ratio increased from 31.7 percent in 2006 to 50.9 percent in 2015, and is estimated to reach 61.0 percent in 2016 according to the Ministry of Finance, 2016 Review of the Economy 2016. The high level of social protection expenditures did offer a buf- fer to the poor and vulnerable through myriad social services and programmes as poverty decreased from 21 percent in 1992 to 16.7 The financial services sector increased its contribution to GDP, almost doubling from 11.7 billion in 2004 to 21.2 billion in 2016. P H O T O : K E E G A N C A L L E N D E R Decrease in unemployment from 2004 to June 2016 Decrease in inflation from 2012 to 2016 Increase in net public sector debt to GDP ratio from 2006 to 2015 8.4% 4.4% 9.3% 3.1% 31.7% 50.9%
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percent in 2005 3 . However, preliminary data from the 2011 4 Survey of Living Conditions (SLC), show an increasing trend for poverty suggesting the need to place greater emphasis on empowerment approaches to tackling the issue. Moreover, despite the decreased poverty levels during 1992 to 2005, inequality persisted as there was a slight decrease in the Gini-Coefficient from 0.42 to 0.39 based on the SLC data. The Gini Coefficient was also consis- tent at 0.39 based on both the 2005 SLC and the 1997/1998 and 2008/2009 Household Budgetary Survey (HBS). The results of other key social indicators are of con- cern given the increasing levels of expenditure on social protection. In terms of the family, the latest available data revealed that the number of child abuse cases declined slightly from 4,760 cases 3 Trinidad and Tobago Survey of Living Conditions. 4 Data to be published during 2011‒2012, to 4,158 cases during 2015‒2016. 5 However, the data reveals that the number of domestic violence cases increased significantly by 77 percent from 70,769 during 2006-2007 to 125,166 cases during 2013-2014. 6 Further, the number of divorce cases increased minimally and was con- sistently over 2,000 during the period considered, rising from 2,718 cases during 2006-2007 to 2,824 cases during 2013‒2014. The data for the country showed that 1 in 3 marriages ended in divorce. In terms of the recidivism and crime detection rates, although the indicators showed an improving trend, the rates recorded were still unacceptably high. The recidivism rate was reduced considerably from 53.4 percent to 34 percent in 2015. The crime detection rate showed little change moving from 16.8 percent in 2010 to 16 percent in 2014, but improved to 22 5
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