Above: Barbados (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Central Bank of Barbados is challenging Standard and Poor’s recent downgrade of the island’s sovereign credit rating.
In a statement released this week, the bank said the downgrade was “without justification.”
“The current performance of the Barbados economy is better than a year ago in every dimension. The foreign exchange reserves have stabilized and there is no longer a threat to the value of the Barbados dollar,” the bank said. “Tourist arrivals have held up in 2014, and tourist expenditures are estimated to have increased modestly. Airlift has increased for the coming winter tourist season and the tourism outlook has improved. We are witnessing the beginnings of a turnaround in hotel and villa construction, upgrades and refurbishment of tourism facilities, and other construction. The growth of tourism and construction and spinoffs to retail and business services should yield growth of about 1.5 percent in 2015.”
The bank said that Barbados remained “among the most entrepreneurial, competitive, transparent economies in Latin America and the Caribbean, and it enjoys a quality of life that is among the region’s best.”
The country cited improved economic trends, from an increase in airlift for the winter season to an overall improvement in the tourism outlook.
“We are witnessing the beginnings of a turnaround in hotel and villa construction, upgrades and refurbishment of tourism facilities, and other construction,” the bank said. “We are confident in our economic strategy, and we will pursue it to success, with resolute determination and singleness of purpose.”