After two slow years, signs of life
By Dana Niland
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is projecting positive GDP growth for Barbados this year as a result of increased tourism arrivals and accelerated growth in key markets.
After a slow 2014, conditions in the country’s economy have improved with lower oil prices, new tourism investment, and falling inflation rates, the IMF said in a recent report.
The IMF predicts a one percent expansion in real GDP by the end of 2015, a significant leap from .2 percent in 2014 and no growth in 2013.
With lowering oil prices, the current account deficit is expected to drop from 8.5 to five percent in 2015, while private capital flows are expected to stabilize with foreign reserves at about $545 million by the end of the year.
Executive Directors of the IMF praised the authorities’ implementation of necessary reforms to help spur macroeconomic growth, but called for caution going forward in dealing with the country’s looming challenges including external risks, high debt and fiscal deficit levels, and competitiveness.
The directors emphasized that Barbados’ growth strategy should center around strengthening the business environment, as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of public services.