Barbados economy recovered, says Central Bank Governor
Central Bank Governor, Dr Kevin Greenidge, says the Barbados economy has recovered following the slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He reported this today during his first quarterly press conference since being appointed on March.
Greenidge told members of the media at the Courtney Blackman Grande Salle, and an online audience, that the economy grew by 6.4 per cent in the first quarter, which was the eighth consecutive quarter of expansion.
“Tourism drove the expansion during the quarter with improved performance in all the major source markets. Arrivals more than doubled those of the corresponding period of 2022, reaching 78 per cent of 2019 or the pre-COVID levels,” the Governor said.
“This growth in tourism spilled over into the other sectors of the economy, resulting in the unemployment rate falling by 3.7 percentage points to 7.2 percent at the end of 2022, relative to 2021. This unemployment rate is the lowest on record since September 2007.”
The Central Bank is predicting that the economy will grow by between four and five per cent this year.
“Continued expansion in tourism and private sector investments are key to driving this performance for the rest of 2023, while the Government’s ongoing public investment programme, should provide further impetus to the economy,” Greenidge said. (SC)