Holding its own
Governor of the Barbados Central Bank, Dr. Delisle Worrell has downplayed predictions by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Barbados is the only Caribbean economy to remain in recession, insisting the island is holding its own.
Stating that Barbados is after sustainable growth and not “flash-in-the-pan growth”, Worrell told journalists that the IMF’s forecast is simply a prediction and the expectation that Barbados won’t register growth when compared with other CARICOM states, is not an indictment on the island.
“The race is not for the swift, this is not a sprint this is a marathon. So let us be realistic under the current circumstances, we only have a couple of months left in the year so there is no realistic prospect that we will have real growth this year so we do what is appropriate in order to secure growth that is sustainable over the medium term. The fact that we are not growing this year still leaves us at the head of the class as far as quality of life is concerned across the Caribbean,” said Worrell as he addressed journalists at a news conference to review the economy.
However, the figures are not encouraging as for three straight quarters, the Barbados economy has contracted.
According to the Central Bank’s report for the first nine months of the year the island’s foreign exchange reserves fell by BDS$447 million (One BDS dollar = US$0.50 cents) since last December- leaving only 13 weeks of foreign reserve cover.