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Home > Country Profiles > Barbados

Country Profiles

Financial Outlook

In his budget speech of August 2013, Christopher Sinckler, the minister of finance and economic affairs for the Barbados government, pointed out that the extent of the island nation’s difficulties in recovering from the global crash of 2008 could be seen from the fact that the economy has declined by an average of 1% of GDP every year since, whereas before it was growing at an average of 3% each year. Tourism, one of the mainstays of the island’s economy, declined by 5.5% through 2012 and by 7% through the first half of 2013. On the positive side, Barbados went into 2013 with US$773 million of foreign exchange reserves, equivalent to 19 weeks of import cover, although continued weakness in the economy has created a difficult fiscal position for the island, with both revenue and taxes down. The fiscal deficit increased from an anticipated 4.4% to 7.9% of GDP. Revenues for the first half of 2013 showed a continuing decrease, down more than 15% on the same period for 2012. The government has put in place a “medium term growth and development strategy” for 2013–2020, which it hopes will arrest the decline and return the country to what had been the trend growth rate of 3% by 2017.

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Further reading on Barbados

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