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Halkitis dismisses downgrade claims

IMF conducting country review next month
  • Michael Halkitis.

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: Oct 11, 2013

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) did not downgrade the Bahamian economy but revised its growth forecast for the entire world, State Minister for Finance Michael Halkitis said yesterday.

Halkitis was responding to a story that appeared in the The Tribune under the headline “IMF Downgrade Over Economy” which he said was “misleading and malicious”.

“This is a typical case of a headline hungry newspaper seeking to create mischief by putting two and two together and making it five,” he said in a statement.

“Their math just does not add up. The IMF never downgraded the Bahamian economy. What they did was issue a revision of the growth forecast for the entire world of which The Bahamas is clearly a part.

“It is clear when you read the full report from which The Tribune extracts their headline that the underlying basis of the economy continues to progress.”

Halkitis said the term downgraded, associated in a negative context with a country’s credit worthiness, is not the same thing as a revision of a growth forecast.

“In its annual budget published this year, the Government of The Bahamas has included elements of its medium term plan to place the public finances of The Bahamas on a more secure footing,” he said.

“Early reports from the Central Bank of The Bahamas point to success in these efforts as we have begun to see a decline in the budget deficit for this fiscal year.”

The Golden Isles MP added that the IMF expressed confidence in the economic program being employed by The Bahamas during a recent meeting in Washington D.C.

He noted that the IMF will be in The Bahamas in November to conduct its annual review of the country.

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