Economic growth for Barbados is possible by the end of next year, says chief executive officer and managing director of Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited Ian De Souza.
He said this is due to the fact that Barbados’ circumstances are very closely tied to the performance of the United Kingdom economy, which has shown signs of improvement.
De Souza’s comments comes days after Governor of the Central Bank Dr DeLisle Worrell projected 0.3 per cent growth for 2014, 1.2 per cent in 2015 and 2.5 per cent growth in 2016.
Responding to questions from members of the media yesterday during the launch of the Student Loan Help Desk at the bank’s Independence Square location, De Souza agreed that the economy would likely improve.
“Very interestingly what you see happening is that when the UK economy turns up, the Barbados economy also turns up with a one year lag . . . the UK economy has turned up as reflected in the housing market in London . . . So our view is, as a result of that, towards the end of 2015 or early 2016, thereabouts, you should start to see a turn around in the performance in GDP in Barbados,” said De Souza.
He quickly added that once more British investors felt more comfortable about investing in properties in Barbados “then you will see the performance of the construction sector improving and what will trail that is the improvement on performance on the GDP end.”
“So if the historical performance of the GDP of Barbados relative to the UK were to hold true, and we see no reason why it should not, then the thinking is that all things being equal, there should be an improvement towards the end of 2015,” added the top banker.
The Central Bank also projected total Government financing needs for the remaining three quarters of the current fiscal year at about $300 million.
It said a part of that was to be financed by commercial banks’ surplus of funding over the credit needs of the private sector.
De Souza said the bank was willing to continue to work with Government to bring about the needed growth.
“Government is having its own difficulties and we have worked with Government and we will continue to work with Government. Of course there will be a need for specific types of structuring to ensure that all of the attendant risks are adequately mitigated . . . Republic Bank will continue to work with Government,” he pledged.