Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine, says the currency in the sub-region, remains “very strong” amid the economic fallout from the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In his Christmas message, Antoine pointed to the currency’s strength and highlighted it among ‘many achievements’ for which the ECCB can be justifiably proud.
“Our EC dollar remains very strong. Its current backing in foreign reserves is 97 per cent,” Antoine disclosed.
He also said the ECCB recorded its highest profit ever – $63.1 million. However, the ECCB Governor observed that the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) is experiencing its largest shock, on record.
Antoine said there’s a projected decline of 16.2 per cent this year.
“Our governments continue to grapple with significantly lower revenues, while simultaneously expending considerable sums on COVID-19 response measures,” he said.
“Evidently, this moment calls for shared sacrifice by all stakeholders, as we navigate this difficult passage together,” he expressed.
According to Antoine, despite the economic and financial fallout due to the pandemic, countries of the ECCU have responded relatively well.
He said the region is thankful that it only experienced a small number of deaths.
“Looking ahead, we project the ECCU will grow by five per cent next year, as tourism, our dominant export, slowly recovers,” he stated.