Finance Minister Colm Imbert has described as “discourteous” the decision by the Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, Jwala Rambarran, to announce that the oil-rich twin island republic was “officially in a recession” without informing the government first.

Rambarran, addressing the Central Bank’s Fifth Monetary Policy Forum last Friday, said the country is “facing austere economic circumstances.”

However, speaking on a radio programme on Sunday, Imbert, who became Finance Minister when the People’s National Movement (PNM) won the September 7th general election, told listeners “it was a bit discourteous of the governor not to inform the Minister of Finance of what he was going to say.”

In his remarks, Rambaarran said the Central Bank’s short term outlook for 2016 is for continued contraction of the Trinidad and Tobago economy on the back of a further decline in the energy sector, which will compound sluggishness of the non-energy sector, causing the country’s external position to come under more pressure, Central Government’s fiscal deficit to increase from what was budgeted; and public debt to rise as a result of more government borrowing to finance projects.

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