LUNSFORD STANISLAW GIBSON of 12 Fondes Amandes Road, St. Anns: 11th October, 1933– 4th August, 2018.
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King expects upbeat budget review
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.
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