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Modest growth for economy

Natasha Beckles

Modest growth for economy

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LED BY GROWTH of five per cent in tourism, Barbados recorded an estimated 2.1 per cent increase in real gross domestic product during the first half of this year.
However, the Central Bank of Barbados said growth in non-tradables was somewhat slower with wholesale and retail and construction registering growth of two per cent and three per cent respectively.
In its report on the country’s economic performance for January to June 2011, the Bank said the winter tourist season saw a turnaround in arrivals after two years of decline.
“However, tourists spent less while vacationing on the island and there was therefore no build up in foreign exchange reserves in the first half of the year,” the Bank said, while noting that reserves remain more than adequate at the equivalent of 20 weeks of imports.
The Bank noted that the United Kingdom market continues to be a bright spot in the tourism recovery with “arrivals to May posting a 14 per cent increase over the same period one year ago”.
The Bank said the economy remains on course to achieve “modest growth” in the region of two per cent, provided there is no slowdown in tourism.