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Global recovery will affect growth

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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The chances that the Barbados economy will see any improvement heading into 2014 are slim.
That’s the conclusion of economists in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, whose view comes on the heels of recent similar statements from the Central Bank of Barbados, International Monetary Fund and Inter-American Development Bank.
In an economic outlook contained in the January to June 2013 economic review now made public by the Economic Affairs Division’s Research and Planning Unit, this group of Government economists said the six-month period between July and next month was “predicated on global recovery which still remains mixed and somewhat uncertain”.
“Given that growth in Barbados’ traditional source markets, [United States of America] and Euro area are forecast at 1.9 per cent and -0.3 per cent, respectively for 2013, real GDP growth in the Barbados economy is estimated to reach 0.5 per cent at the end of 2013,” the report said.
“Remaining optimistic and based on investment projects identified by private sector enterprises, and infrastructural and other projects in the pipeline, growth rates are expected to rise from about one per cent in 2014 to over 3.0 per cent by 2017.
“Continued macroeconomic stability and pursuance of growth and development initiatives will be contingent on Government’s ability to implement its Barbados Growth and Development Strategy, 2013-2020. It will also be dependant on maintaining comfortable levels of foreign reserves and promotion of investor confidence,” it added.
The economists also said it was “expected that the rate of inflation should continue to slow as long as the current trend of reduced global fuel and food prices is remained”.
“Regarding the unemployment outlook, improvements will be dependant on the effectiveness of fast tracking investment-type projects combined with other current domestic policies designed to boost growth,” the report said. (SC)