Barbados meets IMF December ’22 targets; economic recovery ‘strong’ Loop Barbados

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Barbados News

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded a visit to Barbados yesterday (February 16) and has given the country a thumbs up because it seems on track to make the last primary balance target in this fourth quarter of the fiscal year, as it has successfully done for the first three quarters of 2022/23.

This IMF team was led by Pablo Morra, and according to him, the authorities and the technical team in Barbados ought to be thanked “for their openness and candid discussions”.

According to the IMF press release, the team discussed the implementation of Barbados’ updated Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT 2022) plan and reform efforts to build resilience to natural disasters and climate change, supported by the IMF under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF) approved in December 2022.

To summarize the mission’s findings, Morra made the following statement:

“Barbados faced challenging conditions in recent years as a result of the global pandemic, natural disasters, and the rise in global food and fuel prices. After contracting by 14 per cent in 2020-2021, economic activity is recovering strongly, driven by the tourism sector, with real GDP growth estimated at 10 per cent in 2022. The economic recovery is expected to continue in 2023.

“The authorities continue making good progress in implementing their ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program. Targets for end-December under the IMF’s EFF were met. International reserves stood at US$1.4 billion at the end of 2022, equivalent to about seven months of imports. Fiscal performance was strong in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2022/23, which bodes well for meeting the 2 per cent of GDP primary balance target for the full fiscal year. Preparation of a budget for fiscal year 2023/24 is well underway.

“Several steps have been taken to advance the structural reform agenda, including actions to strengthen and modernize procedures for granting and managing duty and tax exemptions and safeguard the sustainability of the National Insurance Fund. Work is also underway on reforms to enhance the sustainability of the public sector pension scheme, strengthen tax administration, and implement reform measures to build resilience to climate change under the RSF.”

The team was on island between February 13 and February 16, 2023.

Following this visit and mission, the IMF team is set to conduct discussions for the first review under the EFF and the RSF in the next three months – May 2023.