The Central Bank of Barbados got it wrong when it predicted a one per cent growth for this year, but revised economic figures are nothing new, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has suggested.
Sinckler today defended the bank’s creditability in light of criticisms leveled against it after Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell revised growth projection downwards by half a percentage point to 0.5 per cent.
“So it is not only here in Barbados that entities responsible for measuring and projecting growth get it incorrect sometimes. Of course you would think if you listen to some commentators that the credibility of our Central Bank has to be called into question whenever a growth prospect or a growth projection is not met,” Sinckler said.
“In fact, in the United States they do it very often, they put out a provisional growth figure for a quarter and then two quarters later they go back and reduce it and nobody accuses them of having no credibility.”
In his second quarter economic review and outlook report Dr Worrell said growth of about one per cent was expected this year, rising to a range of 2 to 2.5 per cent for the next three years. This, he said, would be led by construction and tourism.
However, in his October economic review and outlook report for the first nine months, the economist revised the GDP growth rate to 0.5 per cent for this year.
And he said assuming that the pending investment projects got underway next year, growth would rise to about one per cent in 2016 and two per cent thereafter.