Central Bank of Barbados Review of the Economy: January – June 2020

 

Governor Cleviston Haynes delivers the Central Bank of Barbados’ review of Barbados’ economic performance in the first six months of 2020 and gives his outlook for the remainder of the year.

Source: Central Bank of Barbados

Central Bank of Barbados Review of the Economy – January to June.pdf (text)

244 comments

  • NorthernObserver

    Was that personnel listing part of the projected savings from dollarization? (US or EU)

    Like

  • DavidAugust 8, 2020 6:22 AM

    @John

    You listened to the Governor or read the report? You realize he touched on the matter you however preferred to speculate?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Link is down.

    Heard him a couple of days ago when it was up and found his explanation strange.

    What do you think is creating the increase in reserves besides borrowing?

    I was thinking maybe tourism but Mr. Naitram scotched that speculation.

    Like

  • “You cannot read? It is not based on a simple average”

    You cannot understand.
    My post (6:00 p.m.) explain that whatever is being used the quantities for the two quarters would have to be similar to get an arithmetic average of 15. This is exactly what the person said in what you posted. I also explained that if they were not similar then it would not be 15%.

    But you all like to be baffled by BS and then you pretend to understand. The person said “weighted” average but he/she meant arithmetic average. Let’s not go down “all aritmetic averages are weighted averages with a single weight of unity (one).

    I write for the bread butter man.

    Throw a few word together; add a word that sounds technical; say 15% and that satisfies ham and eggs folks.

    Like

  • @ William

    I see you too are going down what Bajans call the rabbit hole. The discussion about mathematical calculations is silly. What is more important, and which the chief apologist does not even mention, is getting the central bank to publish its methodologies.
    If I want to model the Fed, I can do it; the Bank of England, I can do it; the ECB, I can do it. But the Barbados central bank, I cannot with any accuracy.
    Since the 1970s governments all over the world have been cooking the books on economic growth. Since this concept gained currency in the 1950s (Arthur Lewis, a St Lucian was one of the leaders of economic growth theory) it has dominated normative economic theory. From Rostow to Solow, the myth was that economies can grow and grow.
    Our central bank and policymaker s are victims of this mythmaking. We need to know the definitions that the central bank is using. in making its assumptions. For example, the definition of unemployment changed in the 1970s. We now talk nonsense about economically inactive.
    But the lesson of the second world war is that when the men went off to fight a war the woman ‘manned’ production in the factories, they ran the transport system, they worked on the farms. So the nonsense of women being housewives and therefore not interested in working full time was debunked.
    The same with economic growth, implicit in the half-baked call for a growth in the population by the president in the face of reality, is that the more people the greater economic growth. Apart from everything else, it negates new technologies.
    In 1800, the global population was one billion; by 1930s, it had doubled to two billion; by 1960s, it had doubled again to four billion and is now estimated to reach eight billion any time now.
    If the global population continues to grow at a rate of 1.3 per cent, as it was in the year 2000, by 2780 it will be 148 trn. Think about it. And this unearth will have to feed, house and provide jobs for all those people. Wow! Somethings are unnegotiable and the growth of the global population is one of those.
    At a time such as this, the one thing we can predict is that with an ever-expanding population we face even more epidemics, pandemics, floods, storms, hurricanes, water shortages, food shortages, air pollution, etc. The is the price of unending economic growth.
    Do the maths. Apply the mathematical rule of 70: if the economy grows at an annualised rate of one per cent, it will take 70 year to double; at a rate of 2 per cent it will take 35 years; at a rate of five per cent, it will take 14 years. Apply this thinking to the claims of Owen Arthur’s economic miracle.I know you are not keen on Anglo-Saxon economic theory, but have a look at the concepts of substitution and efficiency and the contradiction at the very heart of it – the mumbo jumbo of fiscal space.
    Another myth of market economics is that of stabilisation. It is waffle. Economies grow in the short-term, or they crash. There is no middle way.
    I can go on, but by now you have got my drift. There are other ways of measuring improvements in the quality of life than economic growth.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Sergeant at 8:26 AM
    @ David BU At 8:35 AM

    Yes. The Staff at the CBB are well qualified for the tasks of managing the Economic and Financial affairs of this country. It is therefore disingenuous to question the figures they put out without good reason. I question the need for this large expenditure on outside consultants.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal Austin at10 :03 AM

    You are on a roll these last few weeks. And I love it.Thanks for interjecting some reality into the debate. There is no need for perpetual growth in the GDP. It is the maintenance of the economic and social well- being of Barbadians that we should aim for. Growth is the means to that end; not the end itself. So in a sense we are engaging in intellectual idolatry.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ “In 1800, the global population was one billion; by 1930s, it had doubled to two billion; by 1960s, it had doubled again to four billion and is now estimated to reach eight billion any time now.
    If the global population continues to grow at a rate of 1.3 per cent, as it was in the year 2000, by 2780 it will be 148 trn. Think about it. And this unearth will have to feed, house and provide jobs for all those people. Wow! Somethings are unnegotiable and the growth of the global population is one of those.”

    Except that the world’s population will not continue to grow at a rate of 1.3 percent. WOMEN are not that stupid.
    And in any event since you [and I] will be duppy dust long before 2780 why should it bother you what happens then? I can also assure you that the events of 2780 will have ZERO impact on your life. I can assure you that hundreds of millions of people mostly more intelligent than you will be born and that they will manage, without any input from you.

    Like

  • @Hal
    “The discussion about mathematical calculations is silly. What is more important, and which the chief apologist does not even mention, is getting the central bank to publish its methodologies.”

    I think your first sentence misses the point of the silly mathematical calculations. Your second sentence explain why these calculations are being made. Without knowledge of the methodology we must (1) accept the figures without questioning or (2) we can engage in an exercise to see how the figures were derived or (3) ask for the methodology.

    I do not believe that any of these approaches is better than the others.nHow long have you been asking for “additional information”? Do you think it will come tomorrow?

    Always bear in mind that we have different interests. The different ways that you can manipulate the numbers (27, 3,) to get 15 may hold a fascination for some. Adding them together and dividing by 2 is just one way.

    Like

  • Her is an old man sitting in a hut in cold dirty London in 1240 trying to anticipate and solve the world’s problems in 2020.

    Hubris.

    Hilarious!!!

    And he was so busy looking at 2020 that he did not even see the Plague coming around the corner in 1347 which was going to kill him, and completely change the world for the survivors.

    The old man sitting in cold dirty London was wasting his time. And he wasn’t even that old, he was only 42.

    Like

  • @ David August 8, 2020 6:06 AM

    Barbadians are very funny.

    On the one hand, the masses are pushing exclusively into the civil service, as the long list of managing staff at the central bank shows, because they do not want to take on corporate risk and no working hours longer than 40 hours per week.

    On the other hand, the political representatives of the masses (especially the outspoken racist Presscott) insult those minorities who bear the entrepreneurial risk.

    I call that the Barbadian condition.

    Like

  • @ Vincent

    Thanks. I have been saying the same thing for decades, but no-one listens to me. I will tell you a story: sometime ago a group of Chinese journalism students, led by their professor, came to London, and they did the rounds: universities, top newspaper editors, etc. The last person on their itinerary was me.
    I remember starting out my speech by saying to them to forget everything they had been told and I went on to tell them that the so-called new technology was just the tool, journalism is all about content.
    Two things I remember about the encounter. First, one of the students, a good friends of mine, now working as an investment banker, starting laughing, and, so did the professor who could not stop giggling. At the end I was invited to China.
    When you break with tradition, introduce a new paradigm, people heckle. Very few ask you to explain yourself. Don’t just accept received wisdoms.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Tron,

    It is not a risk if one has the means to manipulate the government to “level the playing field”, award overly lucrative contracts and run any new entrants out of the market.

    This is one reason why the majority population is risk averse. The risks are all ours!

    Liked by 1 person

  • We can debate the numbers but to me that is not where my concern lies. What i want to hear from the MOF and Growth Committee, is what plans do we have for recovery in a non traditional manner. In other words recovery not focused on tourism related revenue.

    To me that is the conversation sadly lacking that our leaders seem unwilling or unable to have.

    Like

  • @ John A

    What are the projections for tourism? Where are these tourists going to come from? Nearly everyday I read the information coming our of our leading economic organisations and my interpretation varies diametrically from what our tourism officials seem to think. I know I am a bit slow, but am I really that dumb?

    Like

  • @Hal

    No sir you are far from dumb. I too have been watching the comments out of Canada and the UK and what they are saying in terms of a recovery, varies tremendously from what our people are saying here.

    If one watches the share values of the tourism related publically traded stocks, you will see how badly a hit they have take. These are the same companies like the cruise and airlines that we need for seat capacity. One only has to look at Air Canada now with only 2 weekly flights and even those cant be filled. Royal Caribbean that was trading around $140 USD a share pre covid is around $40 USD a share now. Even when they return to the caribbean it will be in a greatly reduced form.

    That is why i say the PM needs to have a frank and open discussion as to the reality of the industry going forward. Recovery for us can not be be tied to tourism this time around or we are dead before we start.

    There is nothing wrong with government staying positive but it must be founded in financial reality.

    Like

  • Tron August 8, 2020 10:56 AM “…bear the entrepreneurial risk.”

    What risks”

    Importing and selling to a captive market?

    Living offa over-priced government contracts?

    Stupseee!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Stupsee indeed!

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal
    @ John A
    There is to be a Throne Speech soon. Please give the GoB time to get the speech together. It is an outline of their plan over the next session. In any case they cannot work miracles . No one knows in advance how soon COVID will take before moving to a downward trajectory. You and John A can make a draft and send it in for approval.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    Are you satisfied that after appointing a growth committee months ago not one single idea from that group has been made public?

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ John A
    The Electorate did not vote for a Growth Committee. Their report has no real value or power. It is advisory to the Ministry that set it up. Why do you feel entitled to the contents of the report? Is it made up of supermen.?

    Like

  • Donna, Simple!

    Did I talk about race? LOL. The top-performers are the minority on this island – as in EVERY society. There are many very successfull black businessmen in Barbados but the prefer to hide behind Bizzy and COW. They even encourage them to speak out in public since they are one tribe, the business class.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    The clock is ticking and a plan must be formalised and implemented in the next few weeks. Right now many are on NIS benefits but that is coming to an end shortly. The third quarter will be the telling quarter.

    Besides seeing that my tax dollars paying the committe members and a good few consultants, yes i feel i am deserving of knowing what the plan is.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ John A

    Ideas are a dime a dozen. Workable ideas require time,effort and relevant skills. What ever ideas the members have were all revealed in their previous statements on the economy. This committee qualifies for one of Hal’s renowned designations.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    Even if the government like, it can’t print excessive money to shore up the economy because it will undermine the pegged exchange rate. And even if we had a floating rate, it wouldn’t made much difference either, because we are an import-dependent, small and open economy.The currency would have depreciated by double-digit figure since march, like most floating currencies in south america. After which, high pass-through inflation follows.

    Like

  • @ Vincent

    I like that one, poor Hal’s ears must be itching. Lol

    Seriously though time is of the essence here. My fear is that many of the companies will be unable to keep their full staff based on the current level of economic activity. I think by October we will get a true picture of the economic effects of covid. This economy can not recover with the current level of unemployment. Lowering that figure is going to be the challenge, while implementing growth measures in the current environment. The guys have been dealt a poor hand to play with thats the truth.

    Like

  • We talking about recovery with tourism and today in the USA you have 250,000 motorcycle people gather in Sturgis for the bike event there, with hardly any wearing masks even though the positivity rate for testing in some places is over 19% in the USA.

    We talking about tourism recovery but many out there in our major source markets just dont care and this will postpone any recovery for dependant economies like ours.

    Liked by 1 person

  • fortyacresandamule

    On the matter of growth rates, I noticed that the developed countries tend to report their gdp growth rates by way of comparing present quarter figure ( ie absolute real gdp) with the previous quarter figure (absolute real gdp) and then ANNUALISED this number to get the growth rate. While other countries compare the present quarter over previous year same period quarter to arrive at gdp growth rates. What most do, is to use the q4 result (ie q4/q4) as the calendar year growth rate.These two rates can vary greatly.

    Like

  • What if no vaccine is found for covid19?

    What will the Government of Barbados and the private sector do to save the country?

    Plans for a worse case scenario should be a priority.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ fortyacres at 6 :36 PM

    Barbados economy is structured differently to those with which you are comparing it. Most of our economic output and foreign exchange is generated in the first two quarters of the year. That is the main reason emphasis is placed on them. Tourism and sugar normally then. it is almost solely tourism now. In your comparatives GDP is evenly spread over 12 months. The correct computation of Total GDP is calendar year 1 over total calendar year 0 times 100. GDP is a flow of income over 12 months. So if Barbados first two quarters are bad then we have a pretty good idea what the full year’s growth would be.
    But we know this intuitively . Why are we harping on it. We should be creatively speculating on how best to ride out the closure of our main income generating markets.

    Like

  • fortyacresandandamule

    @Hants. Good question. If this thing continue at the same intensity into next year, dog eat our supper. Our poverty rate would explode. The government can do so much. We can’t print unlimited money like the us fed, eu central bank and the bank of japan.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    John A
    The private sector traditional or otherwise need to keep their operations open. Closure of one business is an immediate reduction of income to other businesses. Businesses need to mutually keep each other in business. It is a circular flow of income and employment. That is what an economy is. GoB should have known this as well. Instead they drank the Kool Aid too and laid off workers. So we can decide to spiral down or spiral up.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    @vincent. You missed my point completely. I was only making a point about my take on comparative GDP reporting in general with developed and developing countries. Nothing to do whatsoever with the debate about our q1and q2 result.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    Wuh loss. I defaulting to my likes and scrolls.

    Like

  • Here are my suggestions, in case the crisis continues:

    A one-time capital levy for all Barbadians living abroad, say 20 % of all assets.

    Confiscation of all private gold and foreign currency reserves in Barbados with the exception of the equity of commercial banks.

    Introduction of an inheritance and wealth tax.

    Consolidation of all social benefits to form the so-called poverty assistance.

    Premium of 10000 dollars per family for emigration (“Panama award”).

    Compulsory work for unemployed people on agricultural farms.

    Like

  • @Cuhdear Bajan August 8, 2020 1:26 PM “What risks?” Importing and selling to a captive market?
    Living offa over-priced government contracts? Stupseee!!!

    @Tron August 8, 2020 6:03 PM “Donna, Simple! Did I talk about race?”

    And did I talk about race? Stupssseee!!!

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    I am always very sceptical of any aggregate macro-economic data. The GDP is one such figure. Even though the text book definition is straightforward and simple, in reality, arriving at this absolute number ( nominal or real) is a very complex task, that is more of an art, than science in my opinion. The famous economist samuelson, once claimed that the GDP was a great intellectual invention of the 20th century. I beg to differ intensly. It is the most overrated number in all of economics in my opinion. And that is saying a lot, because the discipline is filled with a lot overrated statistics.

    Like

  • The “AG” is all hot and sweaty over the black listing of Barbados and its practices.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/08/08/ag-says-barbados-will-fight-blacklisting-tooth-and-nail/

    Money laundering is an issue more so than COVID and the advisory the US has placed on travel to Barbados.

    So much for the genius idea of attracting people here as a get away from the virus!!

    Whatever happened to that idea?

    An educated guess would suggest the increase in foreign reserves was a result of borrowing and the offshore sector.

    Even Gearbox could figure that one out.

    Like

  • Even if the government like, it can’t print excessive money to shore up the economy because it will undermine the pegged exchange rate. …(Quote)

    This is very interesting. Plse explain the economics of this argument, preferably quoting the authorities.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Duguid: Jobs coming

    There will be construction jobs in the coming months for scores of Barbadians.

    Word of this came from Minister of Housing Dr William Duguid on Friday as Parliament passed a number of money resolutions to supplement the Estimates of Expenditure approved earlier this year.

    The minister said 18 derelict buildings or some that were not being used were expected to be refurbished under a project to cost more than $10 million.

    While not mentioning all of the properties, he said construction work would cover schools, the CLICO building, Parliament Building in Bridgetown and the temporary location at Hastings, Christ Church.

    In a separate presentation, Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Santia Bradshaw said schools including Wilkie Cumberbatch, Vauxhall Primary and Wesley Hall were among the properties. The school meals department building in Christ Church, she said, was also on the list.

    Duguid said: “This $15 million is a seed that will grow . . . It will put people back to work.”

    Recognising the negative economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on Barbados, he said Government’s priority was getting people back to work.

    His comments followed on the heels of a report by the Central Bank of Barbados that the economy contracted by three per cent during the first three months of 2020.

    Unemployment has risen as the tourism and business sectors were hit hard by the shutdown with unemployment claims for March rising to 7 793 compared with an average of 624 in January and March.

    “We have to get every single person’s hands to the plough,” Duguid said. (HH)

    Nation newspaper

    Liked by 1 person

  • Some nice words strung together.

    Throne Speech coming at critical juncture
    Recent events have made the forthcoming Throne Speech compulsory listening and will put the Speech under more than normal scrutiny.
    The economy is under greater stress than at anytime in its history and the pressures are not being felt only by those at the bottom.
    The attack of COVID-19 is pervasive and all sectors of the fiscal and class demographic block of the society are feeling the pain. In reality, all the previous bets, so to speak, are off, and a new start and a realignment of priorities is now required.
    With the economy bloodied but unbowed, an emphasis must be placed on generating employment. This ought to be done, first of all, by regenerating our tourism industry as well as continuing to develop and execute all those new plans in the pipeline.
    Science is the key to finding a suitable vaccine for COVID-19, and we must prepare for a return to normality. We must be ready for that moment and time, and continue to monitor the progress of the research in metropolitan capitals from which we draw our life-sustaining tourists on short-term business stays and vacations.
    The Speech must outline a platform for the creation of a comprehensive interlocking of the fossil fuel-based system of the Barbados Light & Power and the generators of renewable energy. In this respect, we include a revised or enhanced programme for the electric vehicle industry.
    The international business sector is a source of untapped potential for this country. Enhanced efficiency in the several regulatory agencies with which that sector relates must be mandated and proposals outlined and necessary action taken for the building out of that sector in a real and meaningful way.
    The political misfortune of a leading offshore sector in the Far East and the emergence of the nomad worker provide a ready platform for the invitation to take advantage of our 12-month Welcome Stamp Visa. It is a good policy and the Speech must send an unequivocal message that this country is open for global business of substance without discrimination of any kind.
    Greater attention must be placed on ameliorating some of the more stubborn of our social problems. Young people who wish to choose the straight and narrow path must be encouraged and given increased opportunities, both in the exploitation of the local economy, as well as in what one may call the global electronic economy.
    A head-on tackling of violent crime is now due. A policy commitment to tackling this cancerous problem will now be necessary, but money has to be found for a vastly improved and efficient court system. Words must have meaning and action must follow quickly to rid this land of this scourge.
    We are aware that the options are limited, but in the face of intractable difficulties, an administration committed itself in a previous Throne Speech to do the impossible. It created 30 000 jobs.
    A Throne Speech which commits the administration to a policy of relentless pursuit and creation of a more even and equitable but stable society is needed at this juncture.
    These times demand it and our people deserve it. It would be a stellar Throne Speech that sets the road map to reenergising our country in that direction.
    It is not beyond us. We urge the administration to step boldly.

    Source: Nation Newspaper

    Like

  • Letters Job well done by bank governor
    I would like to highly compliment Central Bank governor, Cleviston Haynes, on a very sound and analytically correct presentation on the state of the economy during the first six months of the year.
    Haynes, one of my first and best students at the University of the West Indies, showed neither fear nor bias in his presentation. He carefully identified the positive aspects of the economy, including the increase in international reserves and the stabilisation of the public finances, which provided “buffers” to protect the economy in its subsequent economic decline in the second quarter.
    He discussed the deep recession of the second quarter which was caused primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a collapse of the Barbados tourist industry. The output decline of 27 per cent in the quarter was associated with a very sharp rise in unemployment and a plunge in aggregate consumption demand in the private sector.
    I was also impressed with Haynes’ answers to most questions in the press conference. He alluded to “uncertainty” as a major factor in formulating an economic growth policy for the economy because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. One can also share his belief that there is likely to be more private sector job losses as well as difficulties in starting projects during 2020.
    Overall, and finally, one has to agree with
    Haynes that public sector jobs must be maintained. At the same time, consumption spending has to increase in the private sector, which is heavily service oriented. This can only happen with an increase in the nominal money supply in people’s pockets. Many people have questioned this approach to “counter cyclical policy”, but any further removal of liquidity from the private sector and wage earners could drive the economy into continuing deep recession.
    – Professor Michael Howard

    Liked by 1 person

  • Virgin Atlantic has filed for bankruptcy in the US in yet another body blow for the airline industry.

    The airline is seeking protection under chapter 15 of the US bankruptcy code, which allows a foreign debtor to shield assets in the country.

    Non US companies use chapter 15 to block creditors who want to file lawsuits or tie up assets in the United States.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Here is a govt who boast of having millions in reserves( never mind mostly borrowed) however cannot use some of that millions by way of placing some of those millions in the population hands which can help to stimulate the economy and stave off the freefall of ongoing business closure and stem the flow of unemployment
    The millions govt have already place in tourism now becomes null and void as the USA govt placed a level 3 hammer in the neck of the barbados economy

    Like

  • @Hal

    I thought I read Branson had raised funding for restructuring in the the Uk equity market did that deal go through?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Greene

    You have to be careful with the Virgin model. Virgin Airways is majority owned by the Singaporeans; Virgin Australia is also majority Australian owned. Branson is more interested in travel to outer space.
    Also, many (most) of the Virgin brands have failed ie Virgin Bridges. He rte is a little sociological tit b it. Why do most black travellers prefer Virgin and whites BA? (Those whites who travel on Virgin and blacks on BA please hold your horses).

    Like

  • Science is the key to finding a suitable vaccine for COVID-19, and we must prepare for a return to normality. We must be ready for that moment and time, and continue to monitor the progress of the research in metropolitan capitals from which we draw our life-sustaining tourists on short-term business stays and vacations.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    But I thought the virus is constantly going through mutations!!

    I’m not holding my breath waiting for a vaccine.

    This is one which makes me doubt Trump, but then again I have often been wrong.

    Besides, what do I know about viruses and medicine?

    Like

  • @ Hal,

    Branson had an airline and recording studios in Jamaica.
    I should not comment on secrets of links between the two that I heard.

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  • Virgin Brides…….

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  • Currency reserves are rising because the native masses are unemployed and therefore cannot spend any money.

    So mass unemployment is the solution to our foreign exchange problem.

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  • TronAugust 9, 2020 9:27 AM

    Currency reserves are rising because the native masses are unemployed and therefore cannot spend any money.

    So mass unemployment is the solution to our foreign exchange problem.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    But would that only cause a slowing in their fall?

    What is putting back what is taken out besides borrowings?

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    David BU at 6 :24 AM

    Yet another member of that famous tutorial class agreeing with the clarity and objective assessment in the Central Bank’s latest quarterly report. Thanks for re-posting.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    Yes, have a lot of respect for the professor.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David Bu at 6 :23 AM.
    I agree with your captioned comment wholeheartedly. I hope that the post is not a precursor to the actual.

    Like

  • @ Vincent

    Why haven’t our media offered Prof Howard a regular column (weekly?) to comment on economic affairs, instead of going to ill-informed students to comment?
    I disagree with his view that CoVid caused the deep recession in Q2. It added to it. Government incompetence cause the recession. It would have happened regardless of the pandemic. We became aware of CoVid in March, this government was elected in May 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 10 :14 AM

    Yes. I do. He, OSA and Dr. Judy Whitehead were members of those two tutorial classes. They were keen students of Economics. I am proud of their achievements.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal Austin at 10 :24 AM

    Columnists tend to write to close deadlines. This has a tendency to encourage sloppy writing and arguments.The Newspapers tend towards articles that are sensational,controversial and superficial. It would be a waste of a fine mind’s time. But Dr. Howard does comment on national issues when necessary.
    On the issue of COVID and the decline? You may be right. COVID ,although temporary, might have sped the process or, better still, provided the opportunity to change course. I lean towards the latter.

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  • @ Vincent

    After having worked for approaching fifty years in journalism, including editing a number of publications and writing columns, I did not realise what you just said. Many thanks. Never too old to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Hal Austin at 11 :05 AM

    I believe you meant “recognised”. Please note I used the word “tendency” at least three times in that intervention. I am sure there are several exceptions to a general rule. In any case the newspapers you referred to were local and you, yourself, have referred to their deficits several times on this blog. Please do not get your knickers in a twist at your age and with your experience. Lol!!

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  • @ Hal
    Not “ tears” Comrade but laughter. These pathetic apologists are not to be taken seriously.
    Imagine two parties running the country for more than sixty years straight cannot get integrity legislation on the books.
    It will not end in “tears” Comrade. It’s laughter all the way around.
    It’s a great read to see the apologists swimming in their own cesspool of lies and deception. And I mean from both the Bees and Dees.

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  • @ William

    Shortly before Leroy Harewood died I went to see him and we were talking. I thought there was a bit of anger in his voice at the slow pace of developments in Barbados.
    I often have to check myself because I sense the same tendency in mine. After spending nearly all my adult life working with competent, even if wrong, people. Taking a closer look at Barbados and how we are managed can be so embarrassing one tends to get furious.
    What exacerbates it is when people who think they are intelligent come on BU and say the most childish, irrational nonsense. I look on the bright side and hope that CoVid goes away quite soon and I remain in relative good health. It means I will be able to get out and about and avoid nonsense.

    Like

  • Walter Blackman

    Dullard August 7, 2020 7:14 AM

    “A 27% decline in Q2 following a positive, non zero decline can never any where near 15%. This is such an egregious error that I would be tempted to be suspicious of the CBB’s data, methodologies and peer review processes.

    I would love to hear someone from CBB explain where the 15% comes from.”

    TheOGazerts August 7, 2020 7:16 AM
    “@Dullard
    Your approach, I believe, is the correct one and is one of the ways I tackled it.
    I suspect that some sort of averaging was then done.”

    Dullard & TheOGazerts,
    I do not work at the Central Bank but, after taking a look at Table 1 of the report (Economic Indicators), I was able to understand where the 15% rate of decline came from.

    The table gives GDP figures in NOMINAL numbers.

    To arrive at the nominal rate of GDP decline over the last year, we would use the formula:
    Rate of growth = (GDP at June 30, 2020/GDP at June 30, 2019) -1

    So, the NOMINAL rate of growth in GDP over the last year = (4596.9/5,255.7) -1 = -12.5%

    To move from a NOMINAL rate of growth, to a REAL rate of growth, we have to consider the rate of inflation.
    The Central Bank implicitly says that after taking a 12-month moving average of inflation rates, it adjusted the NOMINAL 12.5% rate of GDP decline over the last year to a REAL14.9% rate of GDP decline.
    Based on the foregoing, and given the GDP numbers, I see no reason to create a fuss over the real GDP rate of decline of 15% produced by the Central Bank.

    The real problem lies in the GDP figures themselves and what they are supposed to mean. The ridiculous assumption has been made that every dollar paid to a Barbadian worker represents a dollar of GDP. Of course, we have seen too many incidents which serve to highlight how laughable this assumption is.

    A few examples should be enough to illustrate my point:

    Thompson and Associates produced an invoice which claimed that legal work, worth of thousands of dollars, was done by another lawyer for CLICO. The thousands of dollars went into the GDP figures for Barbados, but the lawyer told the country that no work was ever done.

    Millions of dollars found their way into our country’s GDP figures for the Four Seasons Project. I invite BU readers to take a trip to Paradise Beach and see what real GDP resulted from the millions spent.

    During the COVID-19 lockdown, millions and millions of dollars were paid to private sector, government ministers and other civil servants who “did not drive a stroke”. You can bet your last dollar that those millions of dollars are included in our GDP figures.

    Realistically, the decline in GDP over the last year is much, much more that 15%. Our challenge now is to find a new, practical, and pragmatic way to measure our GDP.

    Like

  • @ Walter

    Dont forget the $800,000 in consultancy fees that been paid out also form part of the GDP! LOL

    I agree with you though how we measure it is the issue. About 3 years ago I was discussing this same point with others and told them the below.

    GDP needs to be measured factoring in the following.

    Vat collected

    Duty collected from all entries

    FX deposited over the period with the central bank net of loans for the same period under review

    Take these factors and use them in a formula, as they are hard ubdisputed numbers all of which indicate economic activity in real terms.

    I was going to included the unemploymwnt percentage too but i also got a problem with that, as it does not break unemployment down in real terms. In other words if you employed 2 days a week or 5 you employed. There is no measure therefore for part time employment or its effect on the economy.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    @Walter Blackman. You are on point sir.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    Government statistic agencies in the region are usually underfunded. The quality, relevancy and timeliness of macro-economic data is so-so at best. The unemployment rate should be published every month instead of quarter. Quartley GDP publication should include the expenditure and income approach also.

    To get a pulse on the economy, I usually ignore the GDP aggregate, and look at certain figures, like government capital expenditure outlay, large ongoing private investment projects, and certain specific sectors of the economy. This latter data are easy to measure and verify. Examples: Water and electricity production and consumption, stay-over visitors arrival number, residential construction permits, and new loans to the private sector.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    Since GDP is down everywhere, the relevance is the actual number, which will be used in Debt to GDP calculation, the IMF’s fav metric. And can also influence the Ratings folks. The availability and cost of borrowing become the ultimate chess pieces.

    Like

  • Depends on how we calculate debt to GDP. Governments continue to cook the GDP books. We know the figures given 18 months ago are now bogus, since government has incurred even more debt, including BOSS. Where is the much vaunted idea of fiscal space?

    Like

  • Walter Blackman

    John A August 9, 2020 3:06 PM

    “@ Walter

    Don’t forget the $800,000 in consultancy fees that been paid out also form part of the GDP! LOL”

    John A,
    I hate to say it, but this is no laughing matter.

    The $800,000 you mentioned is just a tiny drop in the bucket and was paid to consultants for merely helping the government to “comply with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines”. The actual figure quoted in the press was $840,000.

    However, there is the much larger figure of $47 million which Bishop Atherley castigated the government for spending on consultants, and which would have caused Vincent Codrington to voice some concern and disagreement in one of his earlier comments.

    Like

  • We need whole of government accounts. Put every single liability in the public domain, including pensions, bonds, rents, consultants’ fees, CBC debt, all the statutory bodies’ debt, loans from Bretton Woods organisations, the lot. Then we will get a more accurate debt to GDP ratio. Stop cooking the books.

    Like

  • Drive the plastic highway? How a California company’s innovative repaving process could lead to the ‘holy grail’ of road construction.

    Plastic bottles by the side of a road are a common sight, an unseemly reminder of how often consumer products are discarded carelessly.

    Now some of those bottles may become part of the road.

    A California company has devised a process that integrates recycled plastic into road repaving, an innovation that could revolutionize the industry while yielding environmental benefits.

    Sean Weaver, president of TechniSoil Industrial in the northern California city of Redding, says the polymer-infused roads churned out by the company’s pavement process are sturdier, flatter, safer and more durable than those made with regular asphalt.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/plastic-water-soda-bottles-being-130006235.html

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    I find it interesting that the Barbados economy, for all its catastrophic failure, is outperforming the USA.

    In the USA “Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 5.0 percent.”

    Liked by 1 person

  • Ptl tell that so called good news to the people who ate suffering and wait to hear the.response
    Meaning barbados economy is moving of wheels oiled with borrowed money
    Much of that money funnelled into testing for COVID and propping up the Tourist industry
    Now this type of news you present is supposed to be a light shining at the end of a tunnel or what?

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Mariposa
    It’s not good news… it just points out what a complete incompetent idiot Trump is.

    Like

  • I find it interesting that the Barbados economy, for all its catastrophic failure, is outperforming the USA.

    In the USA “Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 5.0 percent.”

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    IN THE LAST 6 WEEKS I GOT A FORGIVABLE PPP LOAN OF US$240,000 FOR MY TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS.

    IN THE LAST MONTH I ALSO HELPED 8 OTHER BLACK BUSINESSES SUCCESSFULLY GAINED CUMULATIVELY OVER US$1.8 MILLION IN PPP FORGIVABLE LOANS ALL WITH DIFFERENT BUSINESS MODELS, PRODUCTS AND SERVICES.

    WHAT IS BARBADOS DOING IN REAL TERMS FOR BLACK BUSINESSES DURING THIS CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC?

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @BAJE,
    I’m happy for you have prospered from Trump’s boosting of government debt… In essence you have borrowed that money from your grandchildren. If you don’t repay it because it is “forgivable” then you will be screwing your grandchildren and their children.

    Like

  • @ Baje

    Barbados is doing nothing but talking big a la Mugabe Mottley

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Baje
    Barbados is doing nothing to help Black business… the only assistance is going to the foreign owned Hotel sector and the White owned segment of the construction industry.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    More than 35 years ago , I heard in a lecture that the tourist industry takes out a considerable amount of the revenue it brings in. I was told that any major catastrophe will literally wipe it out. I am amazed that we continued on a policy of all eggs in one basket and now find ourselves arguing/ debating bogus figures that have been given for four decades.
    And to crown it all ; we all seem to believe that we are so damn brilliant and we know so much.
    The country has been mismanaged for the last five decades and I will wait until the throne speech to see if we wake up yet.
    We see development and management in narrow academic terms. Results don’t really matter to us. That is why we can spend a year arguing over a percentage while the poor people in the rural areas ain’t got proper running water.
    Go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @William Skinner August 9, 2020 7:28 PM
    “The country has been mismanaged for the last five decades…”
    ++++++++++++++
    The country has been mismanaged since 1627. At their best our colonial administrations were just as incompetent and corrupt as the ones we have had since independence. Most of the time the colonial administrations were much, much more incompetent and corrupt. Let us not pretend that our problems magically started only 50 years ago.

    Like

  • @Walter

    It seems to me that regardless of who is in power consultancies will always be the golden goose for many. One cant help but wonder if the more things change they dont remain the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I believe that we should look at 1627 to around 1966 different form 1966 to 2020.
    To go back to 1627 is provide cover for 50 years of mismanagement.

    Like

  • @BAJE August 9, 2020 7:12 PM “WHAT IS BARBADOS DOING IN REAL TERMS FOR BLACK BUSINESSES DURING THIS CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC?”

    We are working hard trying not to die from all the COVID19 the North Americans and Europeans are sending our way.

    Like

  • @peterlawrencethompson August 9, 2020 7:36 PM “The country has been mismanaged since 1627>”

    So true..

    Like

  • @Hal Austin August 9, 2020 7:22 AM “Why do most black travellers prefer Virgin and whites BA? (Those whites who travel on Virgin and blacks on BA please hold your horses)”

    Virgin has cheaper tickets, more police staff, and better food…but boy those seats keep you squished, good thing I was traveling with family. [this is pre Covid19, i haven’t traveled this year] .

    Like

  • polite, not police

    Like

  • @Hal Austin August 9 at 10:24 a.m. :We became aware of CoVid in March”

    This is NOT true.

    COVID19 was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January, and a pandemic on 11 March.

    Like

  • The black business are all falling left and right
    Everyday across social media that is the talking point
    Most of the time when i check in on BU i am mystified at the repetitive ongoing topics that has little or nothing to do with the economic realities of the bajan household and the pain and suffering
    Even little of recent is being said about the ongoing crime and violence a bug that keeps eroding at the social environment of this country
    Yes Mia reshuffle ewe and cry
    However question being
    What does that reshuffle do in helping to restructure the barbados economy
    Nothing along those lines being said
    At times i stepuse and wonder if white shadows are guiding the hands of BU a place which once held govt feet to the fire has now become a glaring example of digging a rabbit hole for the readers to head down

    Like

  • February 23, 2020 Ontario confirms presumptive case of covid19
    https://news.ontario.ca/mohltc/en/2020/02/ontario-confirms-presumptive-case-of-covid-19.html

    Like

  • On February 2, 2020 I noted to a friend that “tomorrow morning China’s Central Bank will release $170 billion dollars into its economy to make up for the losses being suffered by its tourism economy because of the novel corona virus”

    Like

  • COVID 19 is a challenge to the global economy, it goes without saying it will be more small open economies like Barbados. The prime minister has signaled the government plans to take fresh guard come September.

    #wewait

    Like

  • John A
    August 9, 2020 8:27 PM
    “@Walter
    It seems to me that regardless of who is in power consultancies will always be the golden goose for many.”

    John A,
    Our educational system is supposed to be the cornerstone of our national development. Given the fact that, for its size, Barbados has been endowed with a high percentage of brain power per capita, and given the fact that we have produced, and can produce, whatever professionals are required to thrust this country forward, the question must be asked: How much of the $47 million in consulting fees went to Barbadians? How much went to black Barbadians? I am asking this specific question because black Barbadian lives matter.

    If many foreigners are being relied upon to provide consultancy skills needed at this point in time by the government, what efforts are the government making to position Barbadians in the near future to provide these skills to the country of their birth?

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    @WB
    Foreigners, of any skin tone, expect to be paid in FX. Rebates on the contracts can then be paid in FX in a foreign place.
    We fool ourselves if we think getting $$$ offshore is not the #1 goal of the monied group. It is the top hedge against many unpleasant possibilities.

    Like

  • Piece the Prophet

    @ Walter Blackman

    You have let the cat out the bag!

    The fact is that, while neither BLP NOR DLP are “black” governments, this BLP GOVERNMENT love de white people even more dan de other set.

    Observe that, even in Coronavirus times, de white shadows getting out licking while we black people starving

    Liked by 1 person

  • What efforts is the government making……

    Like

  • Government playing test cricket. Ministers spinning.

    ” “I have some very ambitious plans,” said Duguid, two weeks into his new ministry.”

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/08/07/options-for-housing-coming-duguid/

    Like

  • @ Piece the Prophet,
    Good to see you back.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver
    August 9, 2020 11:01 PM

    “@WB
    Foreigners, of any skin tone, expect to be paid in FX. Rebates on the contracts can then be paid in FX in a foreign place.
    We fool ourselves if we think getting $$$ offshore is not the #1 goal of the monied group. It is the top hedge against many unpleasant possibilities.”

    NorthernObserver,
    In a nutshell, you have stated what many of us have been whispering among ourselves for years: some people in positions of authority and trust are using their status and power to enrich themselves whilst impoverishing their country and its people. The Donville Inniss trial showed all of us the thinking, the objective, and the methodology being employed.

    Unfortunately, these types of iniquitous practices are driving a stake through the heart of our nation. Somewhere along the timeline, a price has to be paid. Wil that price be economic, political, or worst of all, social?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Piece the Profit August 9, 2020 11:08 PM

    “@ Walter Blackman
    You have let the cat out the bag!
    The fact is that, while neither BLP NOR DLP are “black” governments, this BLP GOVERNMENT love de white people even more dan de other set.

    Observe that, even in Coronavirus times, de white shadows getting out licking while we black people starving”

    Piece the Profit ( I have no intention of encouraging you with your fraudulent claims. Prophet, my foot.)

    I haven’t let any cat out of the bag. The cat was out of the bag so long that it has now grown into a tiger.

    From the time Adam was a lad, the economy of Barbados was described as being small, open, and fragile. The social structure was seen by all to be built solely upon colour and class.

    Systemic racism has challenged and confronted the majority black population for centuries, whilst neither the BLP nor the DLP has been around for 85 years. So when it comes to black and white in Barbados, and what we need to do as a people to bring racial equality and social justice to our landscape, please don’t start with the customary BLP/DLP foolishness.

    Please start with a long and hard look at ourselves and realize how nasty-minded and envious we are towards each other. Those characteristics are exploited to the fullest by every Tom (the Indians), Dick (Syrians and Arabs), and Harry (Whites) that dwell in our midst. There seems to be no end to this nightmare in sight.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Please start with a long and hard look at ourselves and realize how nasty-minded and envious we are towards each other. Those characteristics are exploited to the fullest by every Tom (the Indians), Dick (Syrians and Arabs), and Harry (Whites) that dwell in our midst. There seems to be no end to this nightmare in sight…(Quote)

    A precise and accurate description of the cultural flaws that keep an island people fighting just to survive. A perfect description of the evil, vindictive, snake-like habits called the Barbados Condition. All that are needed now are vulgarities and obscenities.

    Like

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