Barbados’ Economy Continues to Grow

Central Bank of Barbados Governor Dr. Kevin Greenidge holds his first press conference as he delivers the Bank’s review of the Barbados economy in the first three months of 2023. 

CBB Review of Barbados’ Economy

115 thoughts on “Barbados’ Economy Continues to Grow

  1. BCCI expects spending to increase

    The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is expecting to soon see some tangible results of Barbados’ economy having returned to pre-COVID-19 levels.
    BCCI’s president Anthony Branker said that could be reflected by increased spending leading up to the first full Crop Over Festival since 2019.
    He said he was still expecting Barbadians to be prudent in their spending due to the high levels of inflation they have been dealing with recently.
    His comments came after it was revealed by the Central Bank Governor Dr Kevin Greenidge that more growth of the economy was projected for the remainder of 2023 due mainly to the recovery of the island’s tourism product to pre-2019 levels, a lower rate of unemployment levels, and an expected increase in consumer activity.
    Greenidge yesterday gave that forecast in his first quarterly report since taking up the position as Governor last month.
    “The chamber is heartened by the report given by the Governor of the Central Bank. These are positive indicators for the business community as this recovery should lead to increased spending and hence greater commercial activity across all business sectors,” Branker said from Geneva, Switzerland.
    He said the good news from the Central Bank boss should also redound to more investment activity in Barbados.
    “The report from the Governor would also be a great asset to investors and the chamber looks forward to a very bountiful Crop Over Festival as well,” Branker added.
    The president recognised, however, that Barbadians might not rush out on a spending splurge because the country was recovering.
    “I think Barbadians understand the pressure that is being transferred upon them from the global situation and will continue to be prudent in their spending,” he said. (BA)

    Source: Nation

      Stories by Shawn Cumberbatch

      Barbadians should be able to open a bank account with no fees attached by June 1.
      Central Bank Governor Dr Kevin Greenidge said all commercial banks operating in Barbados had committed to this.
      Greenidge said he was “committed that [bank] fees will be lower in Barbados going forward”, and that the banks were being cooperative on the issue.
      He also made it clear that he was not afraid to lead on the issue given his belief that all Barbadians were entitled to have a bank account.
      He addressed the matter yesterday during the bank’s first-quarter press conference at the Courtney Blackman Grande Salle, his first since taking office on March 1.
      “I’ve engaged with the banks at least two [to] three times in meetings since I’ve taken office and… each time the idea of fees were on the table. We have discussed this at length…and this is ongoing work that the Central Bank has been working with the commercial banks on,” he said.
      “So, for example, the Central Bank worked with commercial banks and they reduced fees on retail accounts, then last year in 2022 my predecessor . . . issued a directive to the bank to remove fees on large deposits.”
      Greenidge added that since his appointment he “engaged the commercial banks and we are working together hand in hand, and they’ve committed, and some have already done it, on broad general things”.
      “First, they have committed to providing at least one savings account which carries no maintenance fees, and no transactional fees and everyone has committed to having that available by the first of June. So you can test the waters and let me know if you can’t find an account to have,” he said.
      The Governor reported that commercial banks “have been very cooperative” during his discussions with them, and that “in many cases, the banks are doing more than they are actually given credit for in terms of facilitating…digital accounts, etc”.
      “But . . . I have committed that [bank] fees will be lower in Barbados going forward, starting with this savings account, that carries no fee, by every bank. But it remains a partnership,…right will be done and we work together,” he said.
      “I am not a guy really afraid to…lead, so to speak, on that front because I’m also of the view that every Barbadian is entitled to a bank account, and…I’m also of the view that the purpose of banking is financial intermediation, which is moving savings into investment and not earning fees as your main arm.
      “The banks… have given me all of their fee structures over time and we are analysing them to see where we can find common ground,” he said.

      Source: Nation

    • Improvement in Govt’s fiscal performance

      Government’s fiscal performance has improved, says Central Bank Governor Dr Kevin Greenidge.
      In his first quarterly press conference since taking up the post, Greenidge reported yesterday that despite increased spending during its 2022/2023 financial year, Government had a primary balance of $304.2 million.
      He also said that while debt increased, the fact that the economy was growing meant that the debt to GDP ratio was falling.
      The country’s international reserves also grew, by $446.4 million in the first quarter, to end that period at $3.2 billion, the highest on record, Greenidge added.
      Commenting on Government’s fiscal operations, the Governor said that “at the end of fiscal year 2022/23, Government revenues surpassed the fiscal year 2021/22 outcome as collections benefited from the pick up in economic activity, higher imports, the expansion in prices and the earnings from the pandemic levy”.
      “The expenditure outturn was sustained by additional outlays to cover public sector wage increases, welfare payments and support for the operations of various state-owned entities,” he stated.
      “Despite the increases in spending, the primary balance ended the period at $304.2 million (2.5 per cent of GDP), which allowed the Government to not only meet the fiscal target set under the BERT-2022 IMF-supported programme, but also to prepay $74.8 million of the Series B bonds to 5 407 individuals, who each received up to $17 500.”
      Government’s improved revenue intake was led by a $138.2 million “additional uptick in value added tax receipts (up 15.6 per cent)”, which reflected improvements in economic activity along with increases in the value of imported goods.
      During the financial year, public spending increased $250.8 million, “mainly due to large increases in interest expenses”, the Central Bank Governor said.
      Regarding debt, he stated: “For the fiscal year ending March 2023, Government’s gross financing needs increased by $52.6 million when compared to the previous fiscal year, to reach $951.3 million. However, as a per cent of GDP, Government’s gross financing needs were actually lower by 0.9 of a percentage point in the current fiscal year, reflecting the pick up in real economic activity.
      “The debt stock was 119.6 per cent of GDP at the end of fiscal year 2022/23 compared to 131.3 per cent of GDP in fiscal year 2021/22. The improvement in the ratio was driven by the continued economic recovery, as there was an expansion in the debt stock of roughly $1 billion stemming from inflows from multilateral institutions, the new sales of domestic securities and the booking of recently identified legacy domestic arrears,” Greenidge noted.

      Source: Nation

    • 92 990 arrivals an ‘underestimation’

      Barbados’ tourism industry continues to rebound, but Central Bank Governor Dr Kevin Greenidge believes the real performance and that of the wider economy, is not currently being fully reflected in the visitor arrival statistics.
      The Central Bank reported in its first-quarter economic review yesterday that “tourism activity continued to improve, with arrivals increasing by 92 990 in the first quarter of 2023, compared to the corresponding quarter one year earlier, which represents roughly 78 per cent of the pre-COVID 2019 levels”.
      However, the bank said the 92 990 figure was an underestimation and that “the Government is currently working to resolve a discrepancy in the tourism arrivals data, which has been occurring since October 2019”.
      Asked to elaborate on this during his first quarterly press conference since taking office on March 1, Greenidge said “what we’re seeing is that there’s a discrepancy in the statistics and it’s on the downside”.
      There are a number of agencies involved in the collection of tourism statistics, including the Immigration Department, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), Barbados Statistical Service and the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA).
      The Governor said he led a meeting involving the Chief Immigration Officer, the head of BTMI, GAIA Inc. and others and that “our preliminary results suggest that on average, this is using, for example, November data, that our arrivals are actually roughly 6 000 more than we actually baked into our numbers”.
      “That work is ongoing and we are working with Barbados Statistical Service, they are involved in it too, and we hope to be able at least by the next quarter to have a more accurate revised number. But I should stress that’s on the downside, the number is likely to be higher than what we [have] currently. So you could even look at these estimates [6 000 more arrivals] as being conservative so to speak,” he explained.
      Greenidge said this development suggested that the economy “is doing better now than we are even estimating”.
      “Why…we stress these sorts of things is because you can’t make good policy unless you have good data. You need to understand where we are in order to appreciate and make plans for where we need to go. In particular, we may be saying that our ratios are a certain level but even better, and that would mean. . . improvements in other areas,” he added.
      The near 93 000 visitors Barbados welcomed between January and March were mainly from the United Kingdom, followed by the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, the Central Bank reported.

      Source: Nation

  2. The only real question to answer is has the absolute number that defines the GDP returned to what it was pre-covid?

    Another question of less importance would be how long will it take before the economy returns to its former “glory”?

  3. Wait a minute…..these are indeed historical moments…..every credit rating agency and lender including IMF…WARNED these clowns, DBLP tagteam….REPEATEDLY over MANY YEARS…… DIVERSIFY the economy away from tourism, that should be secondary because of the SHORT 4 month shelf life…widen the tax bracket and income generating nets for the remaining 8 months to stabilize the economy and make it more mobile ……..and they absolutely REFUSED…

    WHY? keeping a Slave society TRAPPED is much more money generating FOR THEM ONLY…in their career goals of THEFTS and corruption..and wannabe nobility… opposed to utilizing the THOUSANDS of viable ways to generating LASTING cashflow to benefit the WHOLE island…but they DONT WANT THAT…….old habits of THIEVES and degenerates are hard to break..

  4. Without even reading any of the above we will venture that that socalled growth is recorded in relationship to the Covid massive declines.

    What magic are unscientific modern economics. They are yet to learn how to substract!

  5. We slso warned them for YEARS…they do not have a closeup and personal relationship with SIMPLE MATH…

    What pretenders….who have no clue that NUMBERS give a startling GLANCE into REALITY and tells ITS OWN STORY..

    .but how would they know, DISCONNECTED as they are…

  6. Should “Barbados” have a name change..

    Deep research into why your name is your name:

    The name “Barbados” is from either the Portuguese term os barbados or the Spanish equivalent, los barbados, both meaning “the bearded ones”. It is unclear whether “bearded” refers to the long, hanging roots of the bearded fig-tree (Ficus citrifolia), a species of banyan indigenous to the island, or to the allegedly bearded Caribs who once inhabited the island, or, more fancifully, to a visual impression of a beard formed by the sea foam that sprays over the outlying coral reefs. In 1519, a map produced by the Genoese mapmaker Visconte Maggiolo showed and named Barbados in its correct position. Furthermore, the island of Barbuda in the Leewards is very similar in name and was once named “Las Barbudas” by the Spanish.

    The original name for Barbados in the Pre-Columbian era was Ichirouganaim, according to accounts by descendants of the indigenous Arawakan-speaking tribes in other regional areas, with possible translations including “Red land with white teeth” or “Redstone island with teeth outside (reefs)” or simply “Teeth”.

    Colloquially, Barbadians refer to their home island as “Bim” or other nicknames associated with Barbados, including “Bimshire”. The origin is uncertain, but several theories exist. The National Cultural Foundation of Barbados says that “Bim” was a word commonly used by slaves, and that it derives from the Igbo term bém from bé mụ́ meaning “my home, kindred, kind”; the Igbo phoneme in the Igbo orthography is very close to The name could have arisen due to the relatively large percentage of Igbo slaves from modern-day southeastern Nigeria arriving in Barbados in the 18th century. The words “Bim” and “Bimshire” are recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary and Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionaries. Another possible source for “Bim” is reported to be in the Agricultural Reporter of 25 April 1868, where the Rev. N. Greenidge (father of one of the island’s most famous scholars, Abel Hendy Jones Greenidge) suggested that Bimshire was “introduced by an old planter listing it as a county of England”. Expressly named were “Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire and Bimshire”. Lastly, in the Daily Argosy (of Demerara, i.e. Guyana) of 1652, there is a reference to Bim as a possible corruption of “Byam”, the name of a Royalist leader against the Parliamentarians. That source suggested the followers of Byam became known as “Bims” and that this became a word for all Barbadians

  7. Dont know how it could make PERFECT SENSE…to dummies…to keep the island under a kaleidescope of STAGNATION for 8 MONTHS annually for the last half century, then push their talking heads before microphones to declare growth..

    .no country can get consistent growth from merely 4 MONTHS of economic activity…..and spurts here and there from offshore services and scams..

    but they know the Slaves would swallow that crap and beg for more because it sounds so sweet…

  8. The neoliberal economics of Mia Mottley are no different than a religion, her religion!

    For they continue to be premised on more and more outrageous forms of magical thinking.

    A magical thinking demanded by religion, that for instance, the wearing of a crucifix gives protection. And Mia Mottley wears one!

    The magical thinking that White people will give you money for a green economy or a blue economy or a White economy without taking effective ownership, or at least control, of an underlying asset. Wokeism!

    The magical thinking that you could create growth from a baseline of Covid economic devastation, and with a straight face, enter such an abomination into the political cathedral as sanctified, sanctimoniously!

  9. The Black nobilities seem to be very much in play. STILL, according to certain reveals….

    so the wannabes think they can weasel their way in by using Pope White Dress as an anchor…maybe they also have plans to sit on the vatican board…

    ..frauds and hypocrites always see an opening in some crevice somewhere….cursed with and by opportunism..

  10. See Pacha…we keep looking at the Whites and others……but there are any number of Black Shadows going backward for the last 3,000 years..

    …totally unrelated in status and stature to their cousins the traitor bloodlines….am sure there are those coveting that obscured environment with every breath they take…

    That truism of existence hits home the further back you go and study history from that timeline…

  11. Waru
    And amid all the recent confusion the Anglo Saxons, within the City of London, as enclave within the wider city, are moving heaven and earth to maintain at least a semblance of power.

    A power derived from that faction’s control of the money system. So all we’ve been seeing, from Brexit, to the constantly changing PM, to the wilful destruction of continental European economies by the Nato- Russian War, to the reckless provision of depleted uranium munitions, the efforts to deny Scottish independence and on and on, are aimed at the consolidation of power within the City of London.

    Socalled king Charles cannot even there go unless permission is given by the lord mayor!

    Even the history of the Anglo-Saxons is interesting. Arrival within the isles about 2000 years ago after the Roman conquest but intent on displacing what we today call Scots and Irish. Hadrian’s wall was such a defence, erected to keep them out!

    So yes, there are forces at work, playing real games, while we’re left to talk foolishness about economy, which we all know is ignorance! But highly acceptable to most.

  12. @ Pacha
    Enuff of the fancy language to make your point…

    Are you saying that this new GoCB sounds ominously like the one before him,… and the oneS before him…

    ..ALL of them talking shiite about how well the ‘economy’ is doing, and is PROJECTED to do in coming months, ….
    when even Lorenzo and ac can see with their eyes (and their empty wallets) that our ass is grass…?

    Pointing at a lotta shiite graphs that look like mumbo jumbo.. and drawing illogical conclusions THAT HAVE ALL TURNED OUT TO BE JOBBY.

    The question then is…. how come the so-called ‘Press’ continue to report these quarterly plays as serious business? …. when a simple analysis of past projections can so easily show it to be shaving cream…?

    The answer…
    “Forward, the Brass Brigade!”
    Was there a man dismay’d?
    Not tho’ the soldier knew
    Some one had blunder’d:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
    Rode the 360 thousand.

    brass bowls to right of them,
    brass bowls to left of them,
    faggots and fannies in front of them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    Rode the 360 thousand.

    • GoCB intended audience is IMF, World Bank, IDB. The locals are just invited the fill the room and if they play their role they may get invited to events with food.

  13. “while we’re left to talk foolishness about economy, which we all know is ignorance! But highly acceptable to most.”

    Their comfort zones, at the very bottom distilling utter nonsense..the fact that they were more than willing to enable evil against someone who looks like them…tells us everything we need to know..bad luck for them, GOOD always trumps evil doings of that type….how many movies and books based on true events have we seen and read on that topic, but these criminal frauds still believed they would triumpth.

    …while real things are happening elsewhere which produces much more enlightenment….but their roles are meant to distract the likeminded.

    Things are coming at us, at such a fast and furious clip, i find myself saying daily things like, not getting involved in that, not commenting on that, completely stripping down everything and redefining per newly set rules of engagement…i see very clearly ahead, most things will no longer generate comments.

    Good news, writers will have a brand new frontier in which to operate…and most are quite capable of rising to that challenge..

  14. Bushie
    So much so that this writer does not read, does not listen, does not even want to known what these idiots will say or do or not do about anything.

    They are not of any interest. So much so that an AI machine would be better instead of this stupid game playing by this prime minister and those before.

    Didn’t even know that a new man or woman was on the job! Neither he nor she will make a difference. Therefore, we can safely project what these idiots are doing without wasting the time to get into their vacuous minds. A disposition which brings sadness of course.

  15. It surely dont take long to see the trainwreck, shipwreck, planewreck that they ALL turned Barbados into that no one eith intelligence should want to become trapped in..

    …that includes the handiwork of the very ignorant supporters/followers of both parasitic parties….enabling corrupt thieves, liars and setup artists comes with a very steep price…not one of them can say they did not know….they just love pretending to be blind.

    But since certain reveals, those whom i know at a personal level….pulled back from all the misplaced admiration they had for pretenders/wannabes, now that the REAL story, thanks to their rumor mongering gossips who started due to whatever was promised them, the TRUTH ended up out there EXPOSING THEM… some good is coming out of this. ..ironically by their own hands…meant to cause chaos and confusion …but BACKFIRED….beautifully…

    ….i did not see that one coming and could not make it up..

  16. Pacha…people dont listen…especially when they are filled with hatred for each other for no other reason than they are selfhating and ignorant.

    I spoke to Douglas Trotman some years ago, and that conversation put certain things in motion because i just had to see for myself… the time my first book was written it all exploded to the surface…

    …good thing it was approached in that manner so traitors can reveal themselves…and man did they ever…

    ..unfortunately i also warned Douglas Trotman about his safety, although he knew certain things. ..

    But Karma and Retribution ARE BOTH REAL…and are BOTH MARCHING…just like the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are riding.

    Am now on my second book, and the title alone gave haters heartburn…while they themselves can get NO FURTHER…not interested in how they feel now, but know well enuff how they look and are perceived by others, it’s nothing complimenary. They are very wrong if they believe they werent being watch closely for the last 5-6 years… to see what they were really up to, their mission of destruction… They should know HOW they found themselves in that situation, cause i dont and it dont interest me either.

  17. From what am reading, any new constitution will be null and void anyway.

    ….puppets and minions will NEVER have full control.

    Pacha…that is dem bizness to let pretenders and WANNABES fool them and LURE them into a sense of false security…

    ……am sure you came across the same information…or soon will.

  18. I know you and some others will figure it out…

    “*** *** has its own “constitution,” a word carefully chosen with the purpose of replacing the constitutions of the nations.”

    So let the brainwashed, indoctrinated fools who love to belch out bout their “patriots” and the lotta Slave shite that leak out of them after copying everything deceitful politicians say, and they carry on with so smartly, that word, given to them to parrot and mimick, like everything else foolhardy they do so well, is now obsolete..

    Imagine, am the one, along with some others, who warned and warned, get to tell them that…..but they dont have to mind me, they can wait and see.

    We are the witnesses.

  19. Economics Theories
    Poor Side Of Town
    How can you tell me how much you miss me.
    When the last time I saw you, you wouldn’t even kiss me.
    Now that rich guy you’ve been seein’.
    He must have put you down.
    So welcome back baby.
    Back to the poor side of town.

    GDP growth is growth for some but not all
    GDP = private consumption + gross private investment
    + government investment + government spending
    + (exports – imports)
    and this figure is frequently cited to assess the nation’s standard of living.
    So won’t you come and sit by me in these old dusty clothes

  20. @ David,

    he said the number of tourist arrivals is not a good indicator of a recovery.It is how much money the tourists spend.

    • @Hants

      Thanks. The Governor did allude to vaguely to that fact when he pointed to uptick in related activities but was stingy on statistics!

    • “he said the number of tourist arrivals is not a good indicator of a recovery.It is how much money the tourists spend.”

      Since coming to office, the current government has been making this point about spend v numbers. Go listen to Keri Symmonds the first tourism minister. What was the GOCB last role? Ah gone, leh Waru pollute the blog bout who she warned.🤣

    • Trudeau is the opposite of his father. The very opposite. He has no stature within the “international” community. See Xi, a real player, denigrating Trudeau like he were a school boy after he disclosed all the details of a personal conversation between the two. At home Trudeau is not well rated.

      Mottley, on the other hand is a giant shiiite talker but with the insistence of a feckless population has become the force of dictatorship at home. While Trudeau has moved Canada nearest to dictatorship, especially around Covid. This running here, running there, talking shiiite and being laughed at for pushing her head your her ass can’t reach is about to wane

      Between the two of them, they fail to muster a footnote in this epoch’s historical record, we’ll wager. In other words nonentities.

  21. I int gotta work too hard anymore, wunna done do all the work FOR YEARS of making yaselves look exactly like who and what ya are…the ICING soon come…lol

    How is the world stage these days…

  22. I think the Gov should use the word recovery instead of growth when speaking to current economic activity. As the Gov has confirmed this winter season was 78% of the precovid season, hence one is really not in growth but recovery in real terms. One can speak of growth after we have surpassed precovid activity. The news on our recovery is however still good news. As for the growth in foreign reserves, what was the corresponding increase in foreign borrowing for the said period? In other words did our net reserves after borrowing Fx reflect an EARNED growth?

    Secondly what was the “error” in recording our arrivals and why have we only heard about it now? I thought arrivals wer based on entry figures provided by the sea and airport, what are we missing here? I can tell you April arrivals went quiet over the last 2 weeks so it will be intersting to see what April will end up at.

    • @John A

      Agree with you because the baseline measure is pre pandemic. What we have done is to recover to that position. It makes for positive messaging to use growth.

    • The other point the governor stressed yesterday is his narrative about collaborating with commercial banks to foster an appetite for investment.

    • Another observation was his reluctance towards the end of the Q&A to be specific about what projects are in the pipeline to feed projected growth. He should be in a position to list government projects at a minimum.

    • The IMF has been giving large loans to Ukraine. A country with up to 50 percent GDP declines over the last year.

      A country torn up. Has no ability to repay. But acts as a cat’s paw to achieve strategic military aims.

      Proving the point that the IMF is a military-security organization.

    • From the CBB report (I had problem cutting the final piece?)

      “The Barbados economy has recovered following the slump caused by the COVID pandemic. For the first quarter of 2023, the economy grew by 6.4 percent, its eighth consecutive quarter of expansion. The economy is now larger in size than in 2019, in terms of nominal value (including the effects of inflation)…..”

  23. We wonder whether the people of Barbados, especially the elites, media, etc know that the IMF and the World Bank basically operate out of the Defence Department of the United States. There are many scholars, classical economists, writing about this. Hybrid warfare, by other means?

    That the United States sees these as extensions of empire. Has anybody here ever read a book called “economic hitman”. Are the elites in Barbados, not satisfied with the revolving door between the CB and the IMF, and others, presumes that the direct hire of such a factotum from the IMF could ever prioritize national “sovereignty” over and above the interests of empire?

    OSA was right!

  24. The number of tourist arrival is ONLY an indicator of recovery in the tourism sector . Under the last Ds government we were having records arrivals yearly but no growth.

    The Bs now are picking more from pockets with the airport and room taxes

  25. No answer…the fowls gone silent, who ever heard of that…dont worry, my rumors are BIGGER, JUICIER SWEETER and totally TRUE…and spread like WILDFIRE across the island in the last few weeks….lawd….

    …dey shouda tell the population who they worked for as an EMPLOYEE for nearly 30 YEARS…instead of hiding it, pretending and LYING…

    Not you, those organizations would have to lower the bar to ZERO to let you in…ah dont think they are looking for errand boys, even if ya got experience…

  26. @ David

    What was the revenue from tourism this first quarter compared to the same quarter of 2019, was that listed anywhere? I cant remember seeing it but I really only glanced through the report. I asked because if revenue was below 78% in 2023 to 2019 then we really have not recovered there either.

  27. Pacha…the level of deceit, disrespect and insult shown to the people on the island with those lies and pretense is nothing short of mindboggling…

    Was watching a video on that topic earlier…and these frauds pretending to be leaders are horrifically dangerous.

    Had the same players not come out and expose the roles of these wannabes as their employees, no one would ever know. Given what i now know am thrilled they can no longer hide..or blame Empire for their personal crimes against others.. that we all know are MANY…

  28. Governments do little for tourism growth
    On the plus side tourism businesses aren’t going bankrupt and things should pick up again



  30. @ David

    The most worrying figure in that report to me was inflation.

    In 2019 it was just under 1% in the first quarter and in 2023 it was over 6%. I mean we cant blame government for that as our inflation is imported, but Lord 6 times higer aint nothing to laugh at in the Bajan pocket!

    The spend per head in the first quarter was a bit better than the first quarter of 2019 but again that would of been druven byy inflation too as was shown in the report…

    • @John A

      Importers will tell you prices continue to be negatively affected by disruption to the market caused by Covid 19. As you indicated Barbados is a price taker therefore we have little wiggle room to deflate inflation bubble.

    • So @ John A
      If we measure performance by ‘net dollars’ to establish so-called ‘growth’, is it not obvious that inflation MUST be a key consideration?
      Joe Doe on the Block measures ‘growth’ by how much better off he or she is – not by monopoly numbers added by the CBB.

      If Bushie had to spend $1000 in 2019 to buy food, and now has to find $1100 to buy the same shiite food… does that not represent a DECLINE?
      …meanwhile the shiite central bank counting the money used to buy the SAME food as in 2019 (at $1100) and talking shiite about growth???
      It can ONLY represent growth if Bushie’s income INCREASED by more than inflation .. ie to MORE than $1100.
      …ent it?

      There MUST be at least one intelligent journalist who can ask such basic questions – rather than just fill the News with the lotta jobby we are hearing from these clowns….

    • Mia to co-chair session
      PRIME MINISTER Mia Amor Mottley took on some more duties yesterday given her international positioning as a leader in the fight against climate change.
      The Barbadian leader was named as co-chair of the global environmental initiative, Power Our Planet: Act Today. Save Tomorrow campaign.
      It was launched in the United States during a Global Citizen symposium where leaders of nations in the global north met to unite with leaders from the global south in an effort to address climate change and extreme poverty. (BA)

      Source: Nation

    • @John A

      Jeremy seems to be lining up with our position.

      Not yet out of the woods

      THE BARBADOS ECONOMY may have recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is not out of the woods yet, says economist Jeremy Stephen.
      He said a return to pre-COVID-19 performance was a far cry from saying the country had reached its economic safe harbour.
      Professor emeritus of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill, Michael Howard concurred and said it was concerning that the country’s bread and butter tourism arrivals were not yet back to 2019 levels.
      On Wednesday, Central Bank Governor Dr Kevin Greenidge, delivering his first quarterly press conference since taking up the post on March 1, declared a full recovery of the economy, spearheaded by the tourism sector. He said the signs that the country was past the worst included single-digit unemployment numbers not seen since 2007.
      Stephen, a former banking and finance lecturer, said much would now depend on strong economic management and diversification over the next ten years.
      “Outside of economic planning, it does not say that this economy is back to the size it was before COVID, which is smaller than it was 15 years ago. So, the recovery does not really state improved opportunity but rather a return to where we were around the post-2018 change in Government.
      “This means that there needs to be some form of economic management and diversification over the next ten years. We have pretty much returned to about 70 to 80 per cent of what travel numbers were in 2019 but not necessarily where it could have been if we had a fresher tourism product, or at least one that is better suited to the high-value tourism market that we need to sustain us,” he explained.
      The Central Bank Governor also said tourism’s recovery to 78 per cent of its pre-pandemic level by the end of March positively impacted other areas of the economy.
      “The economy has recovered. For the first quarter of 2023, the economy grew by 6.4 per cent and that represents a consecutive quarters of economic growth, indicating that the economy has recovered from the COVID slump,” Greenidge reported.
      Quarterly numbers
      “Indeed, if we were to look at the quarterly numbers in terms of the level of economic output, both real and nominal, you will see that [when you] compare March 2023 with 2019, which is the year before COVID really began in terms of real GDP (gross domestic product), real economic output, which is the value not just the volume of goods and services produced, we are virtually on par.”
      In his response, Howard said the economic performance, though positive, still had several areas that should cause Barbadians some concern.
      “One cannot deny that there has been a rebound in tourism. I think what the data is showing is that our tourism recovery is far below the others in the other tourism countries in the Caribbean. We have to take note of that because what we are seeing are fairly high arrival numbers, but we do not know what revenues are coming in.
      “However, I would accept the view that the economy grew in the first quarter because of tourism. I would not advise Dr Greenidge to be boastful of the tourism because the present tourism is still below what it was in 2019, so we still have to go a fair way. From this economic report, I do not see an economic plan to get this country firing on more than one growth engine,” Howard said.
      The veteran economist also questioned the Governor’s unemployment figures of seven per cent, noting his reservation this would not have accounted for the close to 3 000 people who were recently sent home from the ash clean-up programme.
      “If unemployment is down to seven per cent and tourism is still not as strong as it was in 2019, where is the employment coming from? There has been no methodology given on how the employment figures have been calculated. In the past we used to hear about employment surveyors and I have not heard about those recently.
      “Recently, we had more than 3 000 people laid off; were they in the employment figures? It has to be said that Dr Greenidge tries to give an over-optimistic forecast and he identifies the main elements of the economy that would support that forecast,” Howard said.

      Source: Nation

  31. What irony?

    A Barbados economy which continues to grow.

    Will this economy every grow up. To be an adult?

    Or is growth the fool’s errand, never to reach adulthood?

    The child never growing up!

    What in nature keeps growing but never to maturity?

    1966 as point of departure, and independence the direction of travel, how does any organism 50-plus continue to grow?

    Why is it necessary for “growth” to be this irrational, unnatural, imposition, meaning little more than an arbitrary metric devoid of meaning in the end?

  32. I feels this man Greenidge is a Giant. He telling we tings good. I gotta believe he. I feel Mia gine cut all we a cheque for a tousand dollers before de nex election.
    I believe.

  33. Pacha, William,TLSN etc……people are seeing very clearly WHO set them up. They know it’s the parliament Nigas, their backward imps, fowls, Slaves and pimps LURED and MISLED them into CHAOS UNLEASHED….that’s what all those multiple chairs were for…

    Look how things BACKFIRED…i will watch from the sidelines…..i leave them to meet their Karma and Retribution for what they have done.

    Not a whole lot left to say..

  34. Waru
    WHO was set up precisely for that.

    Moreover, all the socalled world bodies depending on US printed money, the American financial system, it’s education system for their children, or personal greed and as personally compromised, even sporting organizations, are unhelpful in a genuinely multipolar world.

    In this country the ALBA Games are going on and Russia is a participant.

  35. How do these traitors set up their people and feel comfortable.

    ..their Judas roles were years established, none of them can hide or shift blame to anyone else, weeee long knew of their dishonesty and untrustworthiness..

    They MUST face the people, but being such dangerous cowards, hiding behind layers and layers of dumb Slaves or hiding behind anonymity…let’s see how they try to make an escape……..

  36. @Bush Tea

    Yes sir you are 103% correct ( the 3% is for inflation).

    The problem for us is has the economy REALLY grown or have we just grown due to inflation? So are we as a people better off in the first quarter of 2023 compared to 2022 or are we in fact poorer and catching ass due to higher prices? What then is real growth and how should one measure it?

    Personally i feel economic growth is when all benefit. From the hair braider to the CEO. But how realistic is that in real terms? From what i can see things are tougher on the average Bajan due to higher prices and living cost. But dont mind that they going still brek down reggae at the hill this weekend. Lol

  37. @ David

    Yes Jeremy usually calls it as is. I mean you can present numbers to suit your purpose but in the end numbers dont lie, but the manner in which the are presented can be misleading if that is the intent of the presenter.

  38. @ Bush Tea

    You formula left out 1 important number.

    If you spent $1000 in 2022 for the period but $1100 in 2023 are you poorer? Depends on your income also if you had an income of $1500 in 2022 but that grew to $1800 in 2023 then your net position is still better in 2023. This as a reuslt of your net income being $500 in 2022 but $700 in 2023.

    That is why i say one must watch for the cherry picking in comments on reports.

    • Whereas former governor Haynes adopted a sober approach to communicating the state of the economy, Greenidge seems to going the route of sprinkling his reviews with embellishments and hyperbole.

    • @ David
      You still don’t get it…
      This is EXACTLY why he was hired.
      This was his style as economic advisor too… To be PR manager for government strategy of borrow, borrow and brag…

      …and of promising handouts to the b bowls on the Blocks

      The closest we EVER came to hearing sober, rational debate in this cuntree was when Atherley and Caswell held positions of influence in government.
      That the powers that be went to such lengths to REMOVE them, should have been a RED FLAG…. but brass bowls are color blind…

      We will soon see if brass bowls can FEEL…

  39. Point taken John A..
    But Bushie spent $1100 …FOR THE SAME DAMN FOOD… and since we all know that only Senior Ministers got the kind of pay increases to outstrip inflation, then it stands to reason that we are mostly worse off…

    To your point however, Bushie had agreed that “It can ONLY represent growth if Bushie’s income INCREASED by more than inflation .. ie to MORE than $1100.”

    @ David
    What macro economic what??!! that concept is a roll of jobby.

    ‘Macro economics’ is nothing but ‘voodoo book keeping’ – which is designed to issue degrees to second rate students who could never pass medicine or sciences.
    Consider their benchmark indicator called ‘GDP’ for example.
    Two mega billionaires only need to decide to live in Brassbados and open shell businesses to avoid taxes back at home – and our so-called ‘per capita GDP’ suddenly sounds like an impressive achievement…. lotta shiite!!

    The BOTTOM LINE is that a country’s economic performance should be measured by the standard of living of the lowest level of that society WHO HAS SHOWN A SERIOUS DESIRE TO BE PRODUCTIVE.
    This is probably best represented by the so-called ‘minimum wage’ and ultimately, by its purchasing power….

    Measuring national economic performance by ‘playing with macro numbers’ is pure shiite…. and only brass bowls could fall for such tactics – even while they are hard pressed to buy basic damn food in the foreign owned supermarkets.

  40. Dont care how they twist and turn it, facilitators and partakers in crimes for profit can NEVER clean up this evil mess they created, they can bring distraction after distraction……..NO ONE with intelligence IS BUYING…

    They outperformed themselves…they are MARKED…

  41. The good news…the economy has recovered!!! This removes (well never really removes) the perpetual blaming on a past event. More good news, the big changes (and they were not many) can be found in massive growth in MDI debt. This means any future defaults, given that BOSS+ are excluded, will fall more on them than the NIS/CBB. Not much on NIS, other than an early repayment of a partial Bond issue.
    The less positive news, as expected there was a stiff rise in debt servicing costs. This will continue through 2023, though many external efforts are aimed at mitigating these. And the transfers to SOE’s remain unchanged.
    The unknown….how much of the gains in VAT receipts will actually be collected? This has a problematic past.
    Time to prepare for Crop Over and lose a few pungs so we can fit into the costumes. Thank goodness for spandex!!

  42. Oh and @David
    the NIR items for the banks seem to be well concealed, given the new GoCBB mouthings?

    • @NO

      The banks have a friend in Greenidge if you listen to his commentary- “the banks are doing more than we give them credit” or words to that effect.

  43. Pacha…we know not to mind the local blowhards…they are full of shit, just like the pretender who leads them..

    “First Republic: Future of US bank in doubt as investors flee
    26 April 2023
    First Republic Bank customers pulled roughly $100bn from the company last month
    Image caption,

    Shares in First Republic have tumbled nearly 30% to close at a new record low amid renewed fears the US bank could be the next to collapse.

    The sell-off extended steep declines from a day earlier after the bank said customers had pulled $100bn in deposits from the bank in March.”

  44. How does crime and money laundering affect Caribbean nation’s GDP wealth?
    What is the impact of tax reporting anti-crime and anti-money laundering legislation in global banking on GDP?

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  45. @ Bush Tea

    Yes sir on the whole wage increases have not kept up with inflation and in real terms we are poorer by the day.

    What set us back badly though was the 10 years of no increases we suffered. If inflation averaged 2 % compounded over those years, at the end of that decade $ 100 barely bought $70 in goods after adjusting for inflation. So at the end of that period Bajans have little to no chance to catch up with inflation. Then you add the hyperinflation of 2022 into 2023 and we are all chasing a greyhound on the back of a turtle. I would go further and say that in real terms none of us in our lifetime will ever catch up with inflation, meaning we will not see the days of 2007 again in our lifetime. Sad as it is we all need to accept it and cut our suit to the cloth we have now.

    So yes you are dam right in real terms we are brek as tail at month end.

    • @John A

      If what you say is correct how does it line up with the argument that we are a country living above our means and therefore creating an environment where there is internal devaluation is a good bad medicine?

  46. Puppets and minions have to wait for instructions and permissions re any financial considerations…..

    On a side note…just saw information where trans kids are given dangerous mind altering drugs to transition to what they plan to achieve, saw a mutilated kid recently, it was terrible to watch, he did not survive the transition operation… out for many more shootings and suicides coming up.

  47. “…but we have HDI, forex reserves, employment rate etc.”
    Choose any of these indexes of terms conceived by the greed demons of this world, and Bushie will be happy to apply the SMELL test – so that you can properly locate them in the ‘shiite category’.

    Employment rate is the biggest joke..
    They have gerrymandered this to now exclude those who have been frustrated to the point of giving up looking for work. So 7% unemployment does NOT mean 7% of those of working age, as they EXCLUDE various groups that have the tendency to make the figure look bad…

    Foreign reserves – another big joke.
    Essentially this is our National Savings Account, but ours is comprised of deposits of BORROWED funds, FDI, and other funds that are only available to us on the GOODWILL of others.

    REAL reserves should be funds that the country has EARNED, and put aside for rainy days.

    HDI is another index that means squat in REAL terms. ‘Eddykashun’ investments, life expectancy, and Gross national Income all sound impressive, but we have discussed at length the waste that represents our investment in eddykashun. And our ‘life expectancy’ must be balanced against our being the diabetes and amputation center of the world, and by the lotta obese people whose QUALITY of life must be more of a liability than an asset.

    In the FINAL analysis, it is how we treat ‘the least among us’ that best measures our economic health.
    What is your assessment of our performance against this index?

    • @Bush Tea

      Another index you can refer is how challenging it is to drive through avenues in the Pine, Deacons, Grazettes and other government (low income) housing areas.

    • @ David

      …and then there is the Index that the most serious crime challenge ever faced by the Cuntree is now in a state of truce that has been brokered by one ‘Iston’…

      Do you grasp the significance of this index…?

      Bragging about money is the root of much evil bout here….

    • Nod to report, but professor warns against expanding surplus

      By Emmanuel Joseph

      A local university professor has given the Central Bank’s latest economic review the thumbs up, but with a caution to the Government.
      Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus Professor Don Marshall said on Thursday he supports the Governor’s first-quarter performance report that Barbados has recovered from the fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
      In his first economic review press conference since becoming governor on March 1, Dr Kevin Greenidge on Wednesday reported record levels of tourism arrivals, falling unemployment, a primary surplus that surpassed the target set under the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a 6.4 per cent first-quarter economic growth, the eighth consecutive quarter of expansion since 2019.
      The Governor stated that driven by tourism, the economy had recovered following the impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic and is now “larger in size than in 2019 in terms of nominal value, and virtually on par in real value”.
      Today, Professor Marshall gave his nod to the report, stating it “well covered” the important aspects of the economy, even as the governor notes the persistent challenges to the deficit.
      “But the idea that there are green shoots of recovery is one that I could support. I could support it in the sense that if you bracket out the year for COVID, I could see that the tourism recovery was quite robust, with an 82.3 per cent hotel occupancy year-to-year,” the SALISES head told Barbados TODAY.
      Marshall said that at this point, the post- COVID tourism arrivals have been quite encouraging.
      “We are back to the pre-COVID upward trend,” he said.
      “At the same time, we also recognise the fiscal deficit remains one that is externally financed.
      We also see that it is in keeping with some of the determinations, seeking to reduce deficits and turn them into surpluses. I am on record as saying that for small economies that require the difficult diversifications to make for structural growth and transformation, you cannot pursue that while maintaining surpluses of three, four, five per cent,” Professor Marshall cautioned.
      He noted that the primary surplus had ended the period at $304.2 million or 2.5 per cent of GDP.
      However, the senior economist had a word of caution for the Mia Mottley administration.
      “Just let me caution against any greater expansion of the surplus. I know we have to, in accordance with the IMF, raise revenue, but government cannot really avoid engaging in deficit-spending if it’s going to see improvements in the area of agriculture, manufacturing and assisting all of the small and medium-sized enterprises clustered around these two sectors,”
      Professor Marshall advised.
      He further explained: “I don’t think government can avoid providing social protection by way of maintaining healthcare, education at the tertiary level and so on. There is a structural limitation to how much you can, as a responsible government, maintain social protection, stimulate growth in new sectors of the economy, like the renewable sector for example, and still try to maintain a strategy of achieving a surplus over expenditure upward of four per cent.
      “I think you might get some surplus and try to run small deficits at best. But if you have a surplus of two per cent, I think that is responsible and reasonable. But if you are talking about the economy that needs to undergo and get past its limited diversification, then there is going to be government expenditure. There is no way around that. And if you are talking about the economy that has to struggle with climate change emergencies, ensuring we tackle youth unemployment, it has to join the private sector in providing solutions to some of these problems.
      That will involve expenditure that is not covered in the estimates,” the director of SALISES contended.
      “I understand the text book requirement and the requirement of the IMF in relation to the ideal target in the next three to four years of running consistent fiscal surpluses of four per cent, but I maintain that that formula is not appropriate to an economy like ours at this time,” he argued.
      On the question of unemployment, Professor Marshall embraced the improvements, even though he questioned whether some people had withdrawn from formal employment or from formal job seeking.

  48. Bushman….and that is where simple math eludes them….with all their shite degrees……they only calculate in big numbers and forget the baseline…those who hold THE ECONOMY UP, those at the bottom….dumbasses are yet to learn that the bottom LONG DROPPED OUT…cant even bother to elaborate on that, but the intelligent will get it…

    I said this weeks ago and it went straight over their heads…..

    “every day the bucket ah go ah well, one day the bottom ah go drop out.” – Bob Marley…

    ….an economy based PRIMARILY on LOANS…is not yours, not under your control…per the Monroe Doctrine….when you get the stats from the LENDERS..then i will be interested..otherwise all this is bullshit distraction….meant to promote pretenders and make them look good…. who themselves are swimming in shit…

  49. @ David

    Are we living above our means or do we have distorted priorities?

    Yes we have less buying power in real terms but have you seen the amount of Jaguars and Mercedes on the road? Will reggae on the hill this year only have 100 people? No sir.

    I just think we as a people need to relook our priorities and stop chasing the Joneses. We have massive amounts of savings on the bank earning 0.5% yet we do nothing with it. Have you seen the balance sheet of SigniaGlobe for last year? They lend money and had a great year. I am not against people borrowing but the purpose should be for betterment not bling.

    • “Who will tame the beast that is conspicuous consumption?”
      If you were a Bible follower like the two GPs, you would have known the answer to that KEY question -even before the brass bowls took the worship of money and materialism to the ridiculous heights that we now all accept as ‘progress’.

      Just know that during the taming process, it a go be dread ina Babylon….

    • “By your view Bush Tea we have a problem”
      This is very likely to be EXACTLY what the Captain of the Titanic said when briefed on the damage done by the iceberg.

      Yours is an even bigger understatement Boss…

      Like the Titanic captain, we operated under the misguided ‘scientific’ assessment that we were unsinkable, only to be now confronted with ‘icebergs’ in the form of Climate Change, idiotic leaders, and brassbowlery of biblical proportions.

      Ya got that right Boss… We HAVE a BIG problem.

  50. Bushman…they would have never thought of that one…that’s the report they need to see…the one that tells a COMPLETE story…..the LENDER’S report on economic performance…..of course they never will…

    The lender’s perspective, where they can’t fudge or hide anything. .

  51. I watched the pretend experts for years. Dont know who they were performing for, but the BASICS always escape them….any REAL expert would tell them… sure they too watched and laughed.

    I only know basic things…..when all else fails…it’s ALWAYS….back to basics…it saves ya looking like an expert fool..

  52. Pacha…these types are very strange..they pretend they own the people’s Empire…desperately so….but hanging on to the coattails of the UN Secretary General, begging for a new financial system as they have been straining themselves for weeks…but are they not his boss too…desperation for big league recognition is a hell of a thing…

    I know there is already an UMU roll out soon to be in progress, i see it in the newsfeed i am getting…so what game is being played here…should they not be focusing instead on the SECURITY FEATURES of the DIGITAL ID they are trying to use sleight of hand…..not to implement..with any security features.

  53. Someone posted on another platform that the financial system rollout already started. I did not do any followup…did not focus on a timeline…..only read the report published by some places after the Spring meet….how the hell pretenders missed that. At least stay on top of current events and changes.

  54. Goldman is saying that technology, AI, will eliminate 300 millions jobs.

    As the kabooki theatre in Washington over the debt ceiling enters the penultimate act.

    Regional banks continue to receive hundreds of billion as depositors head for the biggest banks.

    The 17 trillions in deposits increasing being seen as at risk in a bank run, at home. Even as Elon Musk concedes that USD hegemony is over.

    On top of 5 trillion debt from 2020 alone. Banks failures in the offing. Commercial real estate collapse looming as technology radically changes the nature of work and big-box stores find it impossible to continue.

    All examples as forces behind this fictitious growth the resident asshole in the CBoB pretends to exist.

    It shall be the big deckie in dey poooookerts …….. on all fronts. Pun intended!

  55. I have great difficulty in believing that poor people whose meager earnings go in bus fares and trying to keep their children in school , barely able to send them some days, are living above their means.
    For example, we were talking about diversifying and transforming the economy for the last forty years and it is still essentially the same economy.
    Once more, we are failing to connect the dots.

      Interest rates on international loans up by as much as 400 per cent
      By Shawn Cumberbatch

      Government’s debt payments have increased by millions of dollars following a surge in international interest rates linked to loans secured during the COVID-19 pandemic.
      It is a development that Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mia Amor Mottley and Central Bank Governor Dr Kevin Greenidge find concerning, with both flagging the issue in recent days.
      Barbados borrowed money from multilateral development banks including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), CAF the Development Bank of Latin America, and the Caribbean Development Bank as Government sought budget support when its revenue plummeted during the pandemic.
      However, while the interest payments on these loans averaged one per cent, they have increased by between 200 per cent and 400 per cent in some cases, officials said.
      The Central Bank revealed in its first quarter economic review that “for the fiscal year ending March 2023, interest payments were $150.3 million higher due to rising interest rates on external floatingrate loans and the step-up feature (higher interest payments at periodic intervals) of the restructured domestic bonds”.
      The Prime Minister raised the issue during a recent Fireside Chat discussion hosted by The Rockefeller Foundation in the United
      “I was looking at my interest costs alone and last year for my loan for COVID, which I had to beg the World Bank for, and get it as exceptional access because I’m a middle income country whose income is too high, but China is a low-income country,. . . my interest rate on that loan has gone from 1.09 per cent to 5.48 per cent this year. Now, that’s a 400 per cent increase in one year,” Mottley said.
      “My loans at the IMF have gone from 1.077 per cent to 3.916 per cent., my loans at the Latin American Development Bank have gone from 1.8 [to] 1.9 per cent to a range of 4.47 to 6.96 per cent, and not to be outdone, at the Caribbean Development Bank, they’ve gone from 3.3 to 4.9 per cent.
      “I don’t believe that there’s anybody who has done this. . . increase of interest rates on existing loans as an act of wickedness, but they have done it unconsciously, and they have allowed us to have to face increases of two [hundred] to 400 per cent in interest rates, not on new loans but on existing loans, existing loans where the old interest rates were guaranteeing them a rate of return and profitability,” she lamented.
      Greenidge, who said borrowing from multilateral banks rather than going to the international capital market generally was still the place “where you get the most bang for your buck”, also highlighted the higher interest rates challenge during his first review of the economy.
      “Those [interest] rates can rise and the multilateral development banks have to be aware of the impact they have on the same countries they are trying to help. So for example, we had gotten money from
      the World Bank [and] IDB to help with recovery. So you got money from IDB to help with our recovery during a crisis and you got them at one per cent average,” he said.
      “Those are tied to LIBOR, the bank rate, and so as the [interest] rates in the market rise, we are finding that our [interest] rates are rising on the old debt that you borrowed in a time of crisis, which from a development point of view doesn’t make much sense.”
      The Governor said there was a “need to start to think about how development banks and institutions would lend during crisis time, because you don’t want the same funds you lend to become an issue later, and that is something we will start flagging with the international community”.
      Greenidge stressed that despite this challenge, Barbados’ debt was sustainable with the debt to GDP ratio falling to 119.6 per cent in 2022/2023 as the economy recovered.
      The Central Bank’s latest data outlined that Government’s debt interest payments totalled $549.3 million in the recently-ended 2022/2023 financial year, compared with $398.9 million in the prior financial year.
      Interest on domestic debt – $353.3 million was the largest component in the last financial year, with external interest payments, which are paid in foreign currency, totalling $196 million in the same period.

      Source: Nation

    • Is this concern REALLY about Debt? or is it more about the financial maturity that is needed to read and understand the contracts that we sign? …or is it competence that is of concern

    • Dey laughing at weee.
      “Interest payments were $150.3 million higher due to rising interest rates on external floating-rate loans and the step-up feature of the restructured domestic bonds”
      The GoB CREATED the restructured Bonds? They had to know exactly WHEN and the COST of the step-up features. Hence to attribute higher payments, THAN COULD HAVE BEEN PROJECTED, is a bold faced misrepresentation.
      I have stated elsewhere, the projections for the forthcoming year ’23-24 are TOO LOW in terms of Debt servicing costs. While I can appreciate getting caught off-guard by rising rates in ’22-23 (so did SVB and Republic Bank???), come Projections for the current year, one had to know rates were higher and STAYING THERE for the length of the projected period.
      It is shocking, that after the CBB Quarterly review, 2 days later, the CBB posted an Outlook for the Barbados Economy
      And NOWHERE therein, is the risk of higher interest rates even mentioned?
      At the level of borrowing that can financially wipe out 50,000 tourist arrivals in one swoop?
      Subsequently, can we expect NOT TO HEAR next year that interest rate hikes caused an “unprojected expense”? That they have been fully accounted for in ’23-24 projections.
      Or are the projections being wilfully misprojected, such that computed outcomes are “consistent with BERT 2022″ to keep that fund line open?
      Kudos at least, for publicly acknowledging the massive impact these interest hikes will, and have had. This is the flip side of getting nuff money at the ‘lowest possible rate”, when those rates double, triple and quadruple, and you have committed yourself to the variable rate regime.

    • Challenges ahead for the economy

      ON WEDNESDAY, April 26, Barbadians were treated to a very optimistic picture of the performance of the economy by Central Bank Governor Dr Kevin Greenidge, in his review for the first quarter of 2023. In his usual upbeat style, he noted that the economy had fully recovered from the pandemic slump and was poised for growth of between four and five per cent for 2023.
      Recall that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was devastating on the economy. It shrunk by close to 20 per cent (or $2.5 billion in output) between March 31, 2020, and September 30, 2021. The treasured tourism sector was virtually decimated during that period with restrictions placed on overseas travel.
      When the restrictions were lifted, it was expected that the pentup demand for travel would result in a resurgence of the tourism industry. This rebound in the sector would naturally lead to a reversal of the performance of the economy, given tourism’s strategic importance to the Barbadian economy. Indeed, the performance of the economy is inextricably linked to that of the tourism sector.
      A review of the statistics from the Central Bank indicates that tourism arrivals declined from 712 946 in 2019 to 140 833 in 2021. The resurgence in the sector in 2022 saw visitor arrivals climbing to 442 576 during the year. In the case of in transit cruise arrivals, the decline was from 686 813 for 2019 to 69 999 for 2021 before rebounding to 250 527 last year.
      Tourist arrivals double
      As expected, the upward trend in tourism continued during the first quarter of 2023 (the peak period for the sector). As noted by Dr Greenidge, for Quarter 1, 2023, compared to Quarter 1, 2022, there was an increase of 92 000 tourist arrivals or a doubling. An important point to note, as alluded to by the Governor, is that despite the encouraging growth in the tourism sector during the last five quarters, arrivals have recovered to only 78 per cent of its peak pre-pandemic level in 2019.
      This performance does not compare favourably with many of Barbados’ regional competitors, for example, Jamaica, Grenada, St Lucia and Antigua, which surpassed pre-pandemic levels of arrivals in 2022 and are enjoying new record levels in 2023. Thus, the challenge for the tourism planners in Barbados is to maintain the momentum in the industry in order to ensure the 2019 peak level of performance can be surpassed in the near future. This is a challenging objective given the excessive cost of airline tickets, challenges with airlift, low value of the pound relative to the US dollar, and the high (relative) cost of a vacation package in Barbados. It is extremely important that Barbados closes the gap in the performance of the tourism sector with our regional competitors.
      Dr Greenidge rightly acknowledged that the growth in the nominal gross domestic product (GDP) was influenced by the inflationary conditions existing in the last two years. In periods of persistent high inflation, a more appropriate measure for comparative purposes is
      real gross domestic output. Nominal GDP reached $11.4 billion in 2022 compared with the pre-pandemic level of $10.6 billion in 2019. However, when adjustments are made for price increases, the figures are $7.6 billion and $8 billion, respectively. Thus, despite the nominal growth in GDP of an estimated ten per cent in 2022, the economy was $400 million smaller compared to 2019 in real terms.
      An aspect of Dr Greenidge’s presentation, which was received with some pessimism, was the revelation that the strong recovery in the economy (using nominal GDP rather than real GDP) is reflected in an unemployment rate of 7.2 per cent on December 31, 2022, the lowest official rate since September 2007.
      He also noted that at the height of the pandemic, most people took between three months and a year to find a job, compared to now when most jobs are found within less than three months. The latter statement is rather vague and will be questioned by most Barbadians, given the plight of jobseekers and the paucity of employment opportunities to match the qualifications and expectations of some individuals.
      As someone trained in economics and having a great appreciation for economic statistics, I must comment on this announced unemployment rate of 7.2 per cent. As mentioned above, the real GDP in 2022 was smaller compared to 2019, despite the nominal GDP being larger in 2022 compared to 2019. This means that the nominal GDP, which is the product of prices and quantity or output, was influenced more by price increases in 2022 compared to 2019.
      It is accepted that the output variable in the nominal GDP calculation (rather than the price variable) should have correspondence with employment; that is, the output variable should have a positive relationship with employment. Thus, with the nominal GDP for 2022 being influenced more by price increases (rather than output increases) compared to 2019 and the tourism sector in 2022 recovering to only 78 per cent of the prepandemic peak performance in 2019, the 7.2 per cent rate in 2022 has to be questioned. Why is the unemployment rate in 2022 reflecting that thousands more workers were employed in 2022 compared to 2019? Where were these workers absorbed in the economy if not in the tourism sector? How is it possible that such a surge in employment occurred in 2022 when the number of persons seeking welfare assistance of varying types increased in 2022? How can the employment situation be so impressive when the reality on the ground is that there continues to be a worrying level of dispossession and poverty in the country? The answers to my questions might be found in the methodology used to determine the unemployment rate. Thus, it would be useful for Dr Greenidge to share the details of the methodology with the public, given the obvious scepticism surrounding the realism of the announced rate. While the continued growth in the economy is welcomed, we should examine the tradeoffs in achieving this improved macroeconomic performance. First is the continued accumulation
      of debt mainly from external sources. Second is the widening current account deficit, which is financed partly through high external borrowing. Third is the deterioration in social conditions as the Government focuses on meeting the quantitative targets in the International Monetary Fund-supported Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme.
      Not out the woods yet
      Some informed commentators have noted that the Central Bank Governor should temper his excitement about the economy since we are not out of the woods yet. Their assessment of the situation is justified given that real GDP in 2022 is $400 million below the 2019 figure and the challenging external economic circumstances that continue to impact the Barbadian economy. Also, the recent retrenchment of about 3 000 workers from the two extended short-term Government programmes, plus the anticipated retrenchment of hundreds more from state-owned enterprises (SOEs), with the delayed implementation of the restructuring programme for the SOEs, will have a dampening impact on aggregate demand which will depress economic growth.
      The policymakers will be challenged further with the pool of workers seeking employment boosted by the thousands of young people exiting secondary and post-secondary educational institutions in a few months. Also, measures in the second BERT programme, which are directed at the Government achieving its primary surplus targets, will have adverse social and economic implications.
      While we welcome the “good news” about the performance of the economy, driven mainly by the resurgence of the tourism sector, the road ahead will be challenging.
      Anthony Wood is a former minister of agriculture in a previous Barbados Labour Party administration. The above article was submitted as a letter to the Editor.

      Source: Nation

  56. “technology, AI, will eliminate 300 millions jobs.”

    The last 2 weeks has been very enlightening, new era, changes, lots already happening..etc..

    William…you already know it’s more looonnnggg talk…and NO CHANGES…they will however work overtime to trap each other in the 1930s era where they are most comfortable…but the people will RESIST..

    However we want to look at the bigger countries…compare what they are doing to what the small island backward are doing, big difference..

    The more progressive know they HAVE TO change to survive..

    …the backward only want to keep everyone trapped in their obsessions and delusions…no progress, no changes, no upward mobility….only stagnation.

  57. Pacha…back to school is absolutly thrilling….great topic for future dissection.

  58. Waru
    Not sure any kind of schooling could be an antidote to what AI portends.

    To us this developmental arc seems bent towards another round of feudalism.

    Of course, we are likely wrong!

  59. Unless AI can do ntchr in the ancent sense with all that portends….they are yet to catch you know.

    Gotta give AI its props though, they are very good.

  60. I congratulate our honourable government for this great economic growth and wish them well on May Day, the Barbados Liberal Party’s day of action.

    Tron, Herald of the New Republic

    • Interest costs ‘may hinder growth’

      Barbados’ increased debt payment following a surge in international interest rates is likely to have a significant impact on development plans over the next fiscal year.
      Additionally, economist Professor Justin Robinson, said Government would be well advised to strike a better balance between its foreign and domestic financing.
      “Interest costs were forecast at 15.70 per cent of total Government expenditure for the 2023/2024 financial year, up from a low of 8.80 per cent in 2019 after Barbados’ Sovereign Debt Restructuring exercise in 2018. Hence, the interest rate hikes impose a significant challenge for Barbados’ public finances as debt service draws funds away from other developmental expenditures,” Robinson said.
      He also noted that the moral suasion argument put forward by Government was not likely to reverse current fortunes.
      “The Government has spoken to the “immorality” of these rate increases on loans from developmental institutions as distinct from loans sourced on private capital markets, and the urgent need for relief to developing countries facing higher than expected debt service costs. This
      is an interesting argument, and one wishes the Government well in this campaign as any relief from these high rates will be welcome. However, I fear this will be an exceedingly difficult battle to win,” he said.
      The country was recently informed of a sharp increase in the interest costs to the tune of approximately $150 million, on Barbados’ foreign debt in this financial year.
      It has since been explained that the rate increases were attributed to a raise in the London Inter-Bank Offer Rate (LIBOR).
      This benchmark serves as a base rate for many loans in financial markets.
      Robinson explained that the immediate cause of these sharp increases in interest rates was the attempt by major central banks around the world to reduce inflation by raising their own benchmark rates such as the Federal Funds Rate in the United States. The Federal Funds Rate currently stands at 5.08 per cent, after the latest hike by the US Central Bank on May 3, 2023, compared to 4.33 per cent at the same time in 2022 and 0.07 per cent in 2021. The Federal Funds rate last exceeded five per cent in 2006.
      The economist argued that the shift in Barbados’
      financing mix and debt profile over the last five years towards greater reliance on foreign debt means that the fluctuations in global benchmark rates such as LIBOR and Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), have more significant implications for Barbados and debt service costs than ever before.
      “As is often said in Financial Economics there is no free lunch. Inflation has exploded, benchmark interest rates and the cost of funds for these multilaterals has also exploded. The cheap loans, while still the cheapest international money around, have gotten rather more expensive and must be serviced in foreign currency.
      “The reality is that benchmark rates rise and fall. Foreign loans are indexed to these rates and over the long maturities of these loans, there will be many interest rates cycles. Some will be in our favour and some will not. Such are the vagaries of global financial markets and it underscores the need for a return to a normal domestic capital market and a re-balancing of the mix between domestic and foreign financing,” Robinson stressed. (CLM)

      Source: Nation

  61. @ David
    Any reason why you choose to always quote Robinson, rather than say Howard? …who has been saying this all along? (At least Howard did not expose his ineptness on so many high level Boards etc…)
    …not to mention Bushie – whose basic household economics CLEARLY tell us that spending more than we are earning is a SURE PATH to poverty and serfdom.

    Only a jackass can seriously think that ‘developmental challenges’ can be solved by access to soft loans…
    and only a brass bowl JA would borrow such funds on the HOPE that interest rates would remain low….

    What hinder what growth what??!!
    Our asses are effectively grassed….

    • @Bush Tea

      The Blogmaster posted a Nation newspaper article. There are other occasions when other individuals are quoted.

  62. Boss…
    Any opportunity to put some licks in a CaveHill economist’s (whatever the Hell THAT is) donkey – will be taken by the Bushman… LOL

    If the Blogmaster finds himself in the way, then woe betide HIS burro…

    Bushie does NOT judge by academic, mumbo -jumbo, shiite words written AFTER every Tom Dick and Mike have already publicly pontificated…. BUT by actual performance, .. when he was a ‘big-up’ at the Central Bank, NIS etc.

  63. Forgive me if I am wrong.
    Mr Ralph Jemmott gave an excellent analysis of the “Missions” statement to nowhere, but I did not see it reproduced on BU.

    I am on standby to defend the blogmaster if he is being messed with. On the other hand if he is wearing his pink party panties …

    • Straughn: Debt on the decline
      BARBADOS’ DEBT, both local and international, is on a downward trajectory and most of the targets set for 2035 are still within reach, says Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Ryan Straughn.
      However, the country’s foreign reserves of $3.2 billion will take a slight hit later this year when most of the projected capital works projects pick up steam, the economist told the House of Assembly yesterday.
      Straughn made the disclosures while piloting the Barbados Optional Savings Scheme (BOSS Plus) (Amendment) Bill, 2023. It embodies a clause within the issuance of the special bonds that protect the investment should Barbados have to deal with natural disasters such as a hurricane, earthquakes or even another public health pandemic.
      Those bonds carry a five-year maturity with interest rates that are payable semi-annually or quarterly. The clause will give Government some leeway concerning the payment of the principal for two years.
      Straughn explained how Government was using the money it had borrowed on the international market since taking up office in 2018, noting that it was not just racking up debt, but it had been widely used to fund education at The University of the West Indies (UWI), build a new geriatric hospital,
      continue the refurbishing and repair of roads across the island, and import buses and garbage trucks.
      “We are not sleeping on the job,” the Christ Church East Central Member of Parliament told colleagues.
      “Barbadians can see and feel the difference of this administration. It cannot be said that this group of people is sleeping on the job. We’ve sought every time to respond to the needs of the people.”
      Straughn drew reference to the recent revelation that interest rates on international debt could go up by as much as 400 per cent in some instances. The move is expected to cost Government millions to service the debt which was incurred from loans sought during the COVID-19 pandemic.
      He said everything was in hand. “The reality is that when the economy declined by 15 per cent, the Government put together a response package to help families in this country. Where did they think the money came from?” he asked, while noting that representatives of the opposition Democratic Labour Party were giving Barbadians the wrong impression about where the country stood. “Some people are behaving like COVID-19 never happened.”
      Straughn noted that money borrowed over the long term had come in quite handy, and was used to stop sewage from flowing in the streets, restarting the payment of tuition fees for students of The UWI, importing a new fleet of electric buses and garbage trucks, and to even top-up the National
      Insurance Scheme’s unemployment fund, which had been drained when 30 000 people lost their jobs during the pandemic.
      “We had to be practical when it came to restructuring our debt. We know what we have signed. The debt makes a difference to the development of the country.”
      Straughn noted that though the clauses in the BOSS Plus bonds were a necessity and it was better to be safe than sorry, he hoped no minister would ever have to trigger them after a serious climatic event in Barbados. (BA)

      Source: Nation

    • Loans bearing fruit
      THE FACT that Barbados’ debt is $4 billion less than it was five years ago shows that Government’s decision to originally default on its international debt but to borrow smartly on the international market post 2020, is bearing fruit.
      That’s the feeling of Minister of Labour, Social Security and the Third Sector, Colin Jordan.
      Jordan made the assertion in the House of Assembly yesterday, as MPs debated the tabling of the Barbados Optional Saving Scheme (BOSS Plus) Amendment Bill 2023, which introduced a special natural disaster clause aimed at providing Government some room to operate should the country be affected by a climatic event.
      Jordan said the borrowing by Government in two time-frames, first before COVID-19 hit, then after the height of the pandemic, was proving to be a strategic developmental tool for a country that had been burdened by the non-performance in the economy brought on through mismanagement by the previous political administration.
      “Our debt is still $4 billion less than what was left for us. Even after COVID-19, and paying for all those tests and vaccines, building almost a new hospital, building houses, cleaning up ash and paying for tuition fees at UWI,” the minister said.
      Jordan, the MP for St Peter and a financial controller by profession, told the Lower House that debt was all about economic
      management, and the current political administration had done so maturely and transparently.
      Public knowledge
      “These loans are all public knowledge. You don’t have to go on the radio and holler hard to get the information. But those in leadership of the Democratic Labour Party need to go to where the information is,” he said, drawing reference to some Opposition members who seemed unaware about the country’s financial positioning.
      “Borrowing is something that is used strategically and in a developmental fashion and for the long term,” Jordan added. “We’ve grown up understanding there are times that you have to go to the bank or the credit union, in order to be able to obtain the things for qualitative movement forward.”
      He said government was no different, and at stages would have to put itself in debt to aid national development.
      “Countries borrow to move themselves forward, to develop their infrastructure. You need to be able to provide transportation, ports, for purposes of education and for health care. Between those two, people have to be looked after. You don’t take up bits of money to build a hospital. You outfit and out of your recurring expenditure you then service the debt,” Jordan argued.
      According to Jordan, the Democratic Labour Party unfortunately gives Barbados the impression
      that it is a stranger to debt, when such was far from the truth. “They were $18.1 billion familiar with debt. They were very familiar with it. They were paying wages and salaries with borrowed money. That is not an investment. That is not putting money into development that would allow for returns in the future,” he asserted.
      He said it was impressive that since finding that $18.1 billion in debt, the current government had brought it down to $14 billion, while still dealing with the challenges Barbados has faced since 2018.

      Source: Nation

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