You are here

King expects upbeat budget review

Published: 
Saturday, April 28, 2018

Economist Mary King expects an upbeat mid-year budget review to be delivered by Finance Minister Colm Imbert because of developments in the energy sector.

“Oil company bpTT has more gas, the Dragon field will be supplying us soon and NGC may soon also deliver gas from Grenada. Indeed, according to the Prime Minister, our economic future is bound up with the energy sector and in the short term it is recovering! The midterm review will steadfastly ignore the medium to long term reconstruction of the on-shore economy,” she said.

King does not expect a change in the US$52 a barrel crude oil price on which the budget is pegged although oil and gas prices have improved and are expected to remain healthy for the rest of the year.

She told the T&T Guardian: “The global prediction of the oil price for 2018-19 is some US$63 a barrel. These swings in oil and gas prices are supply-based and the US production of shale oil and gas and ethanol have been on the increase since 2015.”

King said the fact that energy sector revenue will increase beyond what is budgeted is driving Imbert’s claim that the economy is turning around.

She said boosting non-energy exports is not a matter of providing incentives or tools but requires diversification of the economy for more globally competitive products.

Since diversification of the economy requires a partnership approach and reconstruction of the economy, it cannot be done by exporters alone, she said.

“Rather it needs a partnership approach, so a national innovation system can be put in place. The impact of globalisation on the choice of products and services to be offered and our part in the global value chains are crucial.

She said the planned initial public offering of CL Financial assets will put more money in the hands of the Government but does nothing to bring in foreign exchange on a sustainable basis.

Disclaimer

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff.

Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.

Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments.

Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.

Before posting, please refer to the Community Standards, Terms and conditions and Privacy Policy

User profiles registered through fake social media accounts may be deleted without notice.