Private Sector ‘Signals’ No Recovery Until After the General Election
There is a BU commenter whose oft-repeated refrain is that ‘there will be no recovery under Fumble’s fools’. The commenter we have come to know as someone who postulates the positions of the private sector. It therefore comes as no surprise that the commenter’s observation aligns with that of the head of the private sector agency Charles Herbert who expressed the view that with a general election on the horizon it is unlikely the private sector will unleash the quantum of investment required to arrest the 9-year free fall of the the economy to have a positive economic outcome [BU’s paraphrasing of Herbert’s position]. It is not unusual for governments during the last days in office to observe a minimum regard for political ethics by refraining from implementing significant decisions that would significantly bind the incoming government.
Interesting to read the recent review of the economic performance by the former governor of the Central Bank Delisle Worrell since being booted from office. He appears to be more lucid and truthful in his delivery now that the weight of the office of governor and being a creature of the minister of finance has been jettisoned.
- See Delisle Worrell’s Jaunary 2018 Newsletter – 2018: The Outlook for the Barbados Economy
In recent days we have also heard from Dean Straker the head of the Small Business Association (SBA) and Eddy Abed the head of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce (BCCI), both expressed disappointment and disagreement with government policies. It is worth mentioning the view of the head of the Barbados Hotel Tourism Association (BHTA) Roseanne Myers who was scathing in her criticism about the urgent need to improve the tourism product. More immediate, the need to fix the sewage leaking on the South Coast.
It does not require above average intelligence to conclude that if key actors in the private sector are uncomfortable with government’s policies made acute by a general election on the horizon, there is a valid case to be made of a lack of confidence in the government. Ministers of government like Denis Kellman and Donville Inniss to name two engaging in verbal sparring with leaders of the private sector does not help.
Battle lines have been drawn and there will be no significant investment by the private sector until after the next general election. Will the economy survive a few months if Stuart decides to let the election period run its constitutional course? With 500 million dollars reported in foreign reserves as at September 2017 and a 100 million foreign debt commitment in the pipeline plus the outflow of the last quarter of 2017- what is the state of the foreign reserves at at January 2018?
Here is what the apolitical among us know.
There is a crisis of confidence.
There will be ‘there will be no recovery under Fumble’s fools’ with weeks to go before the next general election.