IMF suggests swift action
THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY Fund (IMF) is sounding a note of urgency over Barbados’ economy and calling for fiscal consolidation post-haste.
Though admitting that Government had implemented most of its budgetary measures, a team from the Washington-based IMF left Barbados yesterday stressing the need for follow-up to ensure that those measures produce material results in the near term.
In a release issued yesterday evening, the team led by Deputy Mission Chief for the Western Hemisphere, Nicole Laframboise, stated that the Barbados economy continued “to face major challenges, including low growth, a very large fiscal deficit and a high debt burden”.
The IMF, here on a periodic staff visit to review recent economic developments and discuss the main policy priorities after the Article IV Consultation last December, explained yesterday that, “real GDP is expected to decline by 0.6 per cent this year, as slightly stronger tourism activity is offset by the impact of the Government’s deficit reduction efforts” while inflation is expected to remain subdued and private sector credit growth weak.