Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert has dismissed information in yesterday’s Guardian on the International Monetary Fund. He claimed it was misleading.

The article stated that although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected economic growth of 2.1 per cent for T&T this year, economist Dr Roger Hosein has warned that the economy is in dire straits.

Hosein said while he had great respect for the IMF’s projections, he believes the agency is being “overly optimistic” about T&T’s economic outlook.

Imbert, via a Tweet, subsequently stated that in an attempt to discredit the IMF’s forecast of growth in the T&T economy in 2021, an ‘expert’ falsely claimed that “our economy is 40 per cent lower now than in 2007, when in fact our GDP is eight per cent higher now than then.”

Imbert didn’t respond to messages seeking further information.

Minister in the Ministry of Finance Brian Manning also tweeted on the article, “Convenient use of IMF figures seem to be the order of the day.”

Manning later told Guardian Media there was no in-depth analysis.

He added that the Finance Minister had made public statements that the economy is in a critical state, “But the Minister has been doing a lot of work to really set the stage for growth, coming out of the COVID situation.”

He added: “Several economists, not specifically Dr Hosein, have used the IMF’s figures to criticise the Government. Now that the IMF has said something positive on our growth prospects going forward, they’re questioning the IMF.”

“But Government hasn’t been acting capriciously. We received advice from various international multilateral agencies and we’ve been implementing that advice in the economy to stabilise the economy and to set the stage for growth going forward, post-COVID. We accept times are difficult now, but we’re doing all that we can to improve this,” he said.