The Governor of the Central Bank reported two consecutive quarters of growth although it must be stated Barbados economy performed below pre COVID 19 GDP levels – 3.2% to be exact. There was an increase in activity in the tourism sector even as COVID 19 continues to run rampant in the country. The thousands of workers serving the hospitality industry must be happy. The cold reality however is that the economy shrunk 18% in 2020 therefore any mention of the word GROWTH in 2021 must be translated in context.
The BU COVID 19 graphs (Thanks to Lyall Small for your sterling effort to the cause) continue to show Barbados authorities and PEOPLE doing a satisfactory job to curb the number of infections. We have to continue the trend despite the fact COVID fatigue is present. Recent ash fall from La Soufriere has has not helped.
The blogmaster takes the opportunity to caution with the opening of the country- schools and tourism industry- we need to implement conservative protocols. If there was any doubt why the country needs to find avenues to generate economic activity the Central Bank of Barbados first quarter review delivered this week by Governor Haynes is mandatory listening – see also Barbados Outlook 2021.
Attached are the usual weekly charts up to 30th April. Barbados recorded what might be a significant spike, reported last night, that has been largely attributed to an outbreak at the Psychiatric Hospital. The authorities have successfully managed several similar spikes this year so it is likely that we should be able manage this one. However, they should carefully reexamine some of the details of the planned management of the disease over the next 3 weeks or so, especially as related to indoor audience sizes and traditional schools if the spike continues. Trinidad has recorded a significant spike over the past week or so and their PM has reacted very strongly. Jamaica has at last started to show a slight diminution of active cases. Guyana’s cases have continued to increase – Lyall Small.
Central Bank of Barbados Governor Cleviston Haynes delivers the Bank’s review of Barbados’ economic performance in the first nine months of 2020 and takes questions from the media and the live online audience.
Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Cleviston Haynes delivers the Central Bank of Barbados’ review of Barbados economic performance in the first half of 2019 and takes questions from members of the media.
The economy continues to be the focus of the Mia Mottley administration. Although the government should be congratulated for taking decisions unlike its predecessor – to be expected the public has been vocal in response of the austerity measures.
A listen to Governor Haynes reminds the blogmaster of the promise made by the DLP through former Governor DeLisle Worrel regarding projects in the pipeline. It does not matter the government in office, one thing is guaranteed, we struggle to implement.
Governor Cleviston Haynes delivers the Central Bank of Barbados’ review of Barbados economic performance in the first three months of 2019 and takes questions from members of the media.
Cleviston Haynes, Acting Governor of the Central Bank
Acting Governor Cleviston Haynes is expected to share with the public this week the six month economic review of the Barbados economy. It will be his first major public outing since being elevated to the post of governor of the Central Bank of Barbados.
The controversial circumstances surrounding his appointment continues to be a concern for right thinking Barbadians who have always been encouraged in the perception that the Central Bank of Barbados is an independent institution -until the recent stewardship under Dr. DeLisle Worrell.
Governor Haynes’ task will be to dispassionately deliver information and interpret data on the current state of the economy and in the process help to retrieve the reputation the Central Bank has earned since it was established in 1972.
The BU household continues to be somewhat cynical when we have to refer to the Central Bank of Barbados as an independent institution stoked by the knowledge that the appointment of the Governor is made by elected politicians. In this case the minister of finance.
Governor Haynes will have to demonstrate integrity and communication skills of a high order to convince the cynics among us that he is not unduly being influenced by the political headwinds gusting across the land as a general election approaches. How will he explain the routine printing of money by the central bank against the best advice from local, regional and international financial analysts? What about the concomitant effect it continues to have on the foreign exchange reserves? Then there is the questioning by the International Bank of the integrity of the data collection process that informs analysis and forecast. Will he be in a position to share information on the ongoing and protracted restructuring at the central bank that has dogged his predecessor? Several other questions can be asked although BU anticipate he will plead the fifth and try to stick to a script for his first time in the spotlight.
Finally, it is being reported the acting governor will revert to the practice of allowing the media to participate in the session, what will be the makeup of the media players who attend the press briefing. Will the media houses see this as an important event and see their ‘heavy weights’ in attendance? The media is one of the key watchdogs in a democracy. On this occasion we wait to see if they squander the opportunity to represent the public it has a mandate to serve.
An article published in the Barbados Today (21 July 2011) was startling more by its revelation than content. The article titled First Choice boldly asserts in its intro, “Thanks but no thanks. That appears to be what an increasing number of businesses and individuals buying about $600 million in foreign exchange each month are telling the island’s seven commercial banks, preferring to buy their foreign cash from the Central Bank of Barbados”. It is obvious the author (SC) got it wrong.
To the credit of Barbados Today reference was made to a Central Bank Report – Central Bank Intervention in the Barbadian Foreign Exchange Market (page 46 ) which is cited as the source of the author’s revelation. BU has scoured the Central Bank report several times and is unable to find a supporting basis for Barbados Today’s conclusion. The regulatory framework which has the Central Bank as the regulator and commercial banks the financial intermediaries exist. For the author to suggest that an increasing number of business and individuals are turning to the Central Bank to buy foreign exchange is inaccurate and irresponsible journalism at its highest. What it confirms is the dearth of journalistic talent generally but specifically in the realm of financial reporting.
There is the saying in Barbados that if the USA catches a cold small open economies like Barbados will likely catch pneumonia. The US economy continues its long road to recovery which was precipitated by the 2008 financial collapse. The protracted nature of this recession is the one feature which differentiates it from the others which a post-Independence Barbados has had to confront. Given the current structure of our economy, how the US goes, so too Barbados. It should therefore be of concern to Barbadians that Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated at the inability of their economy to ‘fire’ almost three years since the global economy went to hell in a hand basket, see The Trading Report –10 Signs That The American People Are Starting To Freak Out About The Condition Of The Economy.
A disappointing aspect to some of the debate targeting government’s management of the economy, has been the scathing criticism of the Governor of the Central Bank Delisle Worrell Barbados Labour Party Opposition principals responsible for economic matters, Owen Arthur and Clyde Mascoll and others in the media. There is nothing wrong with questioning the numbers but there must be a line drawn if it means the integrity of the Central Bank and agencies that supply statistics are being maligned. The Governor does not manufacturer the numbers delivered in the Quarterly Reviews. He explained in his last press conference that the Central Bank collaborates with several agencies to support its forecasts, the very same agencies used by the previous government.