The Barbados economy contracted by 0.7 per cent for the first three months of this year.
Delivering the disappointing news this morning at his quarterly media conference, Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes said the decline was due mainly to a slowdown in construction, a decline in tourism activities and the late start of this year’s sugar harvest.
Haynes said the reserves grew by $14 million to reach $423 million for the period under review. However, this is still below the 12 weeks import benchmark.
The Central Bank has revised its outlook for the growth between -0.25 per cent to 0.25 per cent.
He maintained that decisive action is needed to further drive down the deficit, which declined by 1.5 per cent to reach 4.2 per cent for the review period.
He said for the island to experience sustainable growth there must also be adequate foreign reserves. (MM)