Trinidad & Tobago Country Risk Report

Published 27 May 2015 | Quarterly

  • 38 pages
  • Instant access to your report online and PDF format through your account library
  • Includes 3 free updated quarterly reports
Trinidad & Tobago Country Risk Report

Core Views:

  • Structurally lower crude oil prices will stymie activity in Trinidad & Tobago's energy sector over the coming years, driving a slowdown in headline growth. Moreover, tepid consumer confidence and a pull-back in government spending on infrastructure projects indicate that growth in non-energy sectors of the economy will also struggle.

  • Trinidad & Tobago's 2015 general election will be narrowly contested, as a notable increase in homicides depresses support for the ruling coalition. We expect this issue will ultimately drive the opposition People's National Party into power.

  • Trinidad & Tobago's nominal budget shortfall will widen in 2015, as lower oil prices drive down energy sector revenues. The Trinidadian government will reduce expenditures, but not enough to stem fiscal deterioration, due in part to election-year considerations.

  • Lower oil prices will place depreciatory pressure on the Trinidadian dollar (TTD) over the coming quarters, resulting in a deterioration of the country's terms of trade and weaker investment inflows. Open market operations by the central bank will prevent a significant depreciation of the currency, informing our view that a gradual weakening of the exchange rate is on the cards in the coming quarters.

Major Forecast Changes:

  • A strong performance by the TTD in the year-to-date, alongside our view that the central bank will look to weaken the currency gradually, prompted us to revise our 2015 average exchange rate forecast to TTD6.420/USD from TTD6.550/USD previously.

Key Risks To Outlook

  • We acknowledge both upside and downside risks to our real GDP growth forecasts. On the downside, lower oil prices could spur a prolonged recession in T&T's economy, particularly if foreign investment into the energy sector dries up on the back of smaller prospective profit margins. On the upside, we will be watching to see if the Trinidadian government looks to secure any major bilateral loans, which could help to soften the...

Table of Contents

Executive Summary
Core Views
Major Forecast Changes
Key Risks To Outlook
Chapter 1: Political Outlook
SWOT Analysis
BMI Political Risk Index
Domestic Politics
Election Will Not Resolve Challenging Security Environment
TABLE: Political Overview
Chapter 2: Economic Outlook
SWOT Analysis
BMI Economic Risk Index
Economic Activity
Oil Sector Weakness Will Dampen Growth
TABLE: Economic Activity
Fiscal Policy
Debt Will Remain Manageable Despite Wider Budget Shortfall
TABLE: Fiscal Policy
Monetary Policy
No More Hikes In 2015
TABLE: Monetary Policy
Balance Of Payments
Low Oil Price Environment To Drive Current Account Deterioration
TABLE: Current Account
Exchange Rate Policy
TTD: Gradual Depreciation Ahead
TABLE: BMI Currency Forecast
Chapter 3: 10-Year Forecast
The Trinidad & Tobago Economy To 2024
Structurally Lower Oil Prices To Drag On Long-Term Growth
TABLE: Long-Term Macroeconomic Forecasts
Chapter 4: Operational Risk
SWOT Analysis
Operational Risk Index
Operational Risk
Table: Caribbean - Labour Market Risk
table: Caribbean - Logistics Risk
table: Caribbean - Trade And Investment Risk
table: Caribbean - Crime And Security Risk
Chapter 5: BMI Global Macro Outlook
Global Outlook
EMs Still Slowing
Table: Global Assumptions
Table : Developed States , Real GDP Growt H, %
Table : Emerging Markets , Real GDP Growth , %

The Trinidad & Tobago Country Risk Report helps businesses with market assessment, strategic planning and decision making to promote growth and profitability in Trinidad & Tobago. It is an essential tool for CEOs, Chairmen, Finance Directors/CFOs, Managing Directors, Marketing/Sales Directors with commercial interests in this emerging market.

An influential new analysis of Trinidad & Tobago's economic, political and financial prospects through end-2019, just published by award-winning forecasters, BMI Research.

Key Uses

  • Forecast the pace and stability of Trinidad & Tobago's economic and industry growth through end-2019.
  • Identify and evaluate adverse political and economic trends, to facilitate risk mitigation.
  • Assess the critical shortcomings of the operating environment that pose hidden barriers and costs to corporate profitability.
  • Contextualise Trinidad & Tobago's country risks against regional peers using BMI's country comparative Risk Index system.
  • Evaluate external threats to doing business in Trinidad & Tobago, including currency volatility, the commodity price boom and protectionist policies.

The Trinidad & Tobago Country Risk Report by BMI Research includes three major sections: Economic Outlook, Political Outlook and Operational Risk.

Economic Outlook:

How will the Trinidad & Tobago' economic policy-making and performance impact on corporate profitability over 2015-2019?

BMI provides our fully independent 5-year forecasts for Trinidad & Tobago through end-2019 for more than 50 economic and key industry indicators. We evaluate growth, and also forecast the impact of economic management.

Economic Outlook Contents

The Trinidad & Tobago Country Risk Report features BMI's forecasts with supporting analysis for 2015 through to end-2019, set against government views and BMI's evaluation of global and regional prospects.

Key Areas Covered:


  • Full 10-year forecasts with data - for key macroeconomic variables including GDP (real growth and per capita), population, inflation, current account balance and the exchange rate.
  • BMI's comprehensive Risk Index system - rates each country worldwide for economic and political risk, and rates the business environment, within a global and regional context.

Written Analysis:

  • Economic Activity - real GDP growth, employment, inflation, consumption (retail sales and confidence).
  • Balance of Payments - trade and investment, current and capital account.
  • Monetary Policy - interest rate trends (bank lending and deposit rates) and inflation (producer price and consumer price).
  • Exchange Rate Policy - currency controls, foreign investment flows, exchange rates and foreign exchange reserves.
  • Fiscal Policy - macroeconomic strategy and policies, government finance and tax reforms.
  • Foreign Direct Investment - approvals, inflows and climate.
  • External Debt - debt profile (short and long-term plus public and private sector obligations).
  • Global Assumptions - forecasts for each year to end-2019 covering: major commodities, growth in key regions, inflation, and interest and exchange rates, in the United States, Japan, China and the eurozone.

Key Benefits

  • Rely upon BMI's 100% independent forecast scenarios for Trinidad & Tobago and underlying assumptions - we take no advertising and are privately-owned.
  • Exploit the benefits of BMI's comprehensive and reliable macroeconomic database on Trinidad & Tobago, sourced and fully maintained by BMI from an extensive network of private sector, government and multilateral contacts.
  • Gain key insights into the current and future direction of government economic policy, which could significantly affect your company's business prospects, from BMI's team of analysts and economists.

Political Outlook:

What are the political risks to doing business in Trinidad & Tobago over the next 5-years?

BMI's Trinidad & Tobago country Risk Index evaluates the short- and medium-term threats to political stability.

Political Outlook Contents

  • SWOT Analysis for the Trinidad & Tobago Market - Political Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Political Stability and Risk Assessment - BMI's Risk Index assesses explicit short- and long-term risks to political stability; latest positioning and trends for Trinidad & Tobago's risk are compared with regional and global averages.
  • Current Administration and Policy-making BMI assesses the threats to the continuity of economic policy, and likely changes to the business operating environment.
  • Long-Term Political Outlook BMI examines the structural risks to the stability of Trinidad & Tobago’s political system and the dominant public policy issues likely to affect decision-makers, and outlines scenarios for how the state could evolve in the medium to long term.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark Trinidad & Tobago's risk profile against its neighbours, the global and regional average, allowing easy comparison of risks between key business markets.
  • Identify, evaluate and anticipate political and security risks to the business environment, and to your company's current operations and future plans.
  • Gain valuable insights into government and policy-making, through BMI's specialist team of analysts and economists, and their network of private and public sector sources.

Operational Risk

What are the current operational risks and difficulties associated with doing business in Trinidad & Tobago?

The Operational Risk section gives an evaluation of current risks and difficulties associated with operating in the market. It also provides a brief overview of the regional Operational Risk Index which benchmarks Trinidad & Tobago against its neighbours.

Operational Risk Contents

The chapter provides a summary of the main threats in the country, within:

  • Labour Market Risk (Education; Availability of Labour; and Labour Costs)
  • Logistics Risk (Market Size and Utilities; Quality and Extent of the Transport Governance)
  • Trade and Investment Risk (Economic Openness; Government Intervention; and Legal Risks)
  • Crime and Security Risk (Crime; Terrorism; and Interstate Conflict risks).

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The sections that I find most interesting and useful are the macroeconomic data and forecasts for the country, top export destinations and economic activity. The indicators/analysis of these areas helps us orient our thinking, our assumptions and, consequently, our decisions in the commercial area.

Country Manager, DHL Express