IMF Staff Pleased with Barbados so far

September 6, 2019

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. This mission will not result in a Board meeting.
  • Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program.

At the request of the Government of Barbados, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Bert van Selm visited Bridgetown from September 3–6, to discuss implementation of Barbados’ Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan, supported by the IMF under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). A concluding meeting was held with Prime Minister Mottley on September 6, 2019. To summarize the mission’s findings, Mr. van Selm made the following statement:

“Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program.

“All indicative targets for end-June under the EFF have been met. The target for the government’s primary surplus was met with a wide margin, with the government running a primary surplus of 2½ percent of (annual) GDP in the first quarter of FY2019/20. This bodes well for achieving the government’s primary surplus target of 6 percent of GDP for FY2019/20. International reserves were also well over program targets at end-June.

“Good progress has been made in implementing end-June and July 2019 structural benchmarks under the EFF. The authorities have completed a review of the tax system and the Governor General has proclaimed the recently enacted Financial Management and Audit Act.

“Progress being made by the authorities in furthering good-faith discussions with external creditors is welcome. Continuing open dialogue and sharing of information will remain important in concluding an orderly debt restructuring process.

“The team is looking forward to return to Barbados in November to conduct the discussions for the Article IV and second review under the EFF and would like to thank the authorities and the technical team for their openness and candid discussions.

IMF Communications Department
PRESS OFFICER: Randa Elnagar
Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email:



  • John A

    Isn’t it normal practice to count part time and self employed as employed?


  • We should not quibble about unemployment numbers like John A stated. In an austerity climate there will be suffering, there will be stress on living. We have to protect the vulnerable as we navigate this period which is why the pension issue must be resolved post haste.


  • @ John 2

    It is in many places but it gives a very bent view of how well an economy is doing. What would be good is if we tracked fully employed as being 40 hours a week.

    Because we track it this way you will notice even though our unemployment numbers in the last say 5 years were not high, our economy was growthless. From memory I Think once you are making contributions here you count as employed, even if it was 5 days and is now only 2.

    I don’t think you will see it changed as it will make bad politics. I also ignore tourist arrival figures and focus solely on spend figures for the same reason.


  • @ John A

    Correct. Basically the definition of ’employed’ is pliable and many times violates common sense.


  • In an austerity climate there will be suffering … We have to protect the vulnerable as we navigate this period which is why the pension issue must be resolved post haste.

    At the end of any round of austerity there is always more suffering than at the beginning.
    There are always more vulnerable at the end than at the beginning.

    In the neo-liberal playbook pensions tend to get reduced or eliminated.

    Why do you think that Barbados is special in this regard?


  • Do you remember the phrase voluntary idle?


  • 10% unemployment rate what a bowl of hogwash
    When will this govt learn to tell the truth
    Also on last night telethon it makes to note that those that make big contributions are in private business need i say more


  • The same social partners are comprised of those business persons, who imported ready made school uniforms that have threatened jobs in the industry. These are the same people that have held successive governments to ransom and who don’t pay in VAT.


  • @William

    Local companies will import if it will save money. If you discuss this matter with local companies for years now it has become cheaper to import from Trinidad and China.


  • @ Baje September 7, 2019 7:10 PM

    Baje appears here as a typical Barbadian: on the one hand he brags about exams from some universities and his scholarships from the distant past, on the other hand he reveals a remarkable naivety towards economic contexts.

    Baje should tell us how entrepreneurs in Barbados should pay higher wages when productivity stagnates or, in the case of Barbados, has even fallen significantly since 2008. Baja lives in his dream world, where the literacy level of a population determines their expectations.

    Of course he will now rage against me like many other whipped-up nationalists, instead of thanking me politely.


  • @ Dullard,

    Pensions are delayed payment; it has already been earned. By reducing pensions the state is mugging annuitants.


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