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Another downgrade ‘possible’

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Another downgrade ‘possible’

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Barbados may not be facing a “full-blown” economic crisis but Wall Street is warning Government that unless it acts promptly to stem the downward economic slide, the country’s credit rating could be lowered once again.
This has come from Standard & Poor’s, one of the world’s leading credit rating agencies.
Richard Francis, S&P’s lead analyst for Barbados, in an interview, said that “if the Government doesn’t take timely measures it is highly likely there would be another downgrade” and it could come within a year.
“The measures that must be addressed are both on the economic and investments sides as well as fiscal measures,” said Francis, less than 24 hours after S&P lowered Barbados’ credit rating two notches, from BB+ to BB-minus with a negative outlook.
 “The Government must find some kind of external financing. That is another key as well. One area that the Government must move on is getting some of these large projects going, to tackle the fiscal deficit and finding the external financing.
“There are three areas. One is really focusing on getting some of these large projects going; two: tackling the fiscal deficit and three, finding some general financing.
“Understandably, some of them may be tied together and if they are able to get some of these hotel projects off the ground that would be an indication you will be getting more foreign direct investment which would help on the balance of payments,” he said. (TB)