The Haitian Economy only grew by 1.2% in 2017

Posted by France24 on Friday, December 29, 2017 Under: Economy
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The Haitian economy has experienced a limited growth of 1.2% in 2017, which does not allow the Caribbean country, very vulnerable to climate hazards, to get out of the vicious circle of poverty.

Far behind the performance of the neighboring Dominican Republic (5.3% in 2017), the very weak growth of Haiti worries because it still remains below the demographic growth rate, stable at 1.5%.

"It is a factory of poverty" summarizes the Haitian economist Kesner Pharel. "There are serious structural problems and especially the big problem is inflation: we have experienced inflation of an annual average of 14.7% so that even those who work has become poorer," he continues.

A year sealed by the hurricanes

Started on October 1, 2016, the Haitian fiscal year has, since the beginning of the first quarter, been sealed by the consequences of Hurricane Matthew who ravaged the south of the island on October 3 and 4. The damage, estimated at nearly $ 2 billion, was mainly recorded in the agricultural sector, which accounts for 20% of the country's GDP.
Haiti's vulnerability to natural disasters is a real drag on its economic development, but the country's growing debt (which has tripled in 10 years to now exceed $ 3 billion) prevents any investment in reducing risks.

The debt service in the budget is 13 billion gourdes (202 million US dollars) and only one billion gourdes annual (15.6 million dollars) is planned for the environmental sector, so much more money is spent in a month to pay off the debt only to solve the year's environmental problems " worries Kesner Pharel.

The situation is all the more alarming because this weak growth in 2017 will finally have been possible thanks to the money transfers from the Haitian diaspora, estimated at more than 2 billion dollars. "Fortunately, the US economy is doing well, and the wave of young Haitians left in Chile is felt through these shipments but how many years will we support all this? We can not depend on transfers for that there is economic growth, " concludes Mr. Pharel.

Corruption and administrative heaviness

The worsening of poverty is creating social tensions that are holding back any private investment, which is hurting the business climate in the country. Because of the lack of investment protection, corruption and red tape, Forbes magazine ranks Haiti among the worst countries to do business in 2018, ranked 151 out of 153 countries analyzed, ahead of only Gambia and Chad.

In : Economy 

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