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Budget wait

Tony Best

Budget wait

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Next month’s budget in Barbados may hold the key to the country’s economic fortunes.
And when it is delivered by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, Wall Street’s top credit rating giant, Standard & Poor’s (S&P), will be listening to hear how the country plans to tackle its thorny problems of a widening fiscal deficit and rising debt in a “timely fashion”.
Specifically, S&P will be listening intently for the details in the Government’s medium term strategy, according to Killi A. Bissett-Tom, an analyst who keeps tabs on Barbados’ economic performance for S&P.
S&P has revised its outlook on Barbados’ long-term BB+/B credit rating, moving it from “stable” to “negative” while at the same time forecasting economic decline of less than one per cent this year, a jump in unemployment and a widening of the fiscal deficit.