Provisional estimates of economic activity in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) point to a turnaround, with growth estimated at 1.9% in 2018. The reinvigoration was largely underpinned by recovery in the manufacturing sector (mainly energy and energy-related). Headline inflation slowed. Sustained fiscal consolidation efforts resulted in a smaller fiscal deficit. Net public debt contracted as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). Commercial bank credit to the private sector continued to grow. The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT)raised the repo rate by 25 basis points to 5.0% in June. Transactions with the rest of the world resulted in an external current account surplus; but the gross reserves recorded further contraction.
Economic outlook is cautiously upbeat. Output growth is projected to tick up to 2.0%in 2019; and the improvement in fiscal conditions is expected to be sustained. However, risks to the outlook are mainly tilted to the downside.