Timely Central Bank reports are a must
By David Brathwaite | Thu, November 01, 2012 - 12:01 AM()
There must be a consistent format of reporting of information in the Barbados Central Bank’s quarterly update to the media so that interested people may make comparisons from quarter to quarter and for the same quarter of the previous year.
In his latest review, the Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell reported that tourism arrivals had declined by 3.7 per cent for the year to date.
But a very important number omitted was the decline for the third quarter compared to last year’s. That number would give a much better indication of the most recent trends.
Up to the end of June, arrivals had increased over last year, so it may be concluded that the July to September performance was dismal (my estimate is a decline of between ten per cent and 12 per cent).
Clearly, the Government may not wish to highlight this, especially in an election season, but it is the public’s right to know.
Likewise, it is the normal practice to report the level of unemployment at the end of the quarter under review but, here again, the Governor chose to report that unemployment stood at 12.5 per cent at the end of June.
It is almost November, so it is inexcusable to present such out of date information.
The information will eventually come out when the Central Bank publishes its economic review, but the information available to the public should be timely, accurate and consistent.
The media also have an important role in keeping the public informed and must see it as their duty to ask probing questions of the Governor.
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