IMF says negative growth is not unlikely amid pandemic

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is reporting that negative growth is not an unlikely scenario this year amid the covid 19 pandemic.

The multilateral agency says the world economic slowdown and disruption in supply chains, the decline in commodity prices, the contraction in tourism and the sharp tightening of  global financial conditions are bringing activity to a halt in many Latin American and Caribbean countries – severely damaging economic prospects.

IMF notes that in the Caribbean, lower tourism demand due to travel restrictions and the fear factor – even after the outbreak recedes—will weigh heavily on economic activity.

The IMF says commodity exporters will also be strongly impacted and a reduction in remittances is likely to add to the economic strain.

Meanwhile, credit ratings agency Fitch has raised the prospect that Digicel Group could face default on US$63 million  in debt amid market turbulence triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

The bond, due for repayment in September, carries an 8.25 per cent interest rate.

Earlier this month the Irish Times newspaper reported that Digicel Group was in talks to form a network-sharing partnership with a rival in one of  its markets in order to reboot cash levels.

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