Central Bank has questions to answer, says BPSA
CALLING IT A blow to Barbados’ already “sagging confidence”, the private sector is concerned about the Central Bank’s announcement that Government will have to make another $174.6 million fiscal adjustment in just six months.
Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) chairman Alex McDonald also said the third quarter economic review outlined by Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell yesterday did not “provide any reason to feel encouraged that we are on the path to recovery”.
McDonald also lamented what his organisation thought was an absence of “deep, relevant and continuous communication at the level of the Social Partnership and beyond”.
He raised these issues today during a Press conference at the Barbados Employers Confederation’s and Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s conference room.
“Barbados is in an extremely difficult position. Years of negative or flat growth, negative investment grades, and a series of tough fiscal measures have taken the wind out of the sail of our confidence as a people. This sagging confidence has resulted in an atmosphere of gloominess and uncertainty both in the private sector businesses and the population at large,” he said.
“As a people, we have settled into a pattern of enduring and hoping for better days. The news yesterday from the Central Bank of Barbados in our opinion has not provide any reason to feel encouraged that we are on the path to recovery. While there may be some green shoots appearing in the Central Bank’s report, the report did not disclose them properly.”
McDonald said there were several questions the Central Bank needed to answer based on the contents of its latest economic review.
“For instance, what measures are being contemplated to cover he $174 million shortfall in revenues? What about the 0.1 per cent tourism value added number in light of higher arrivals? Is this number satisfactory and what can we be doing better?
“What is contributing to international reserves, as we have seen a spike in March 2014 that is atypical of this period? What is driving our foreign direct inflows to $399 million? And what we can do to sustain this? What is driving the increase in net public sector debt up from 67 per cent last year to 75 per cent now?” (SC)