Opposition spokesman on International Business and Trade, Manufacturing and Commerce Bruce Hennis says the Barbados economy is moving in the right direction, but he said there is still cause for concern.
Hennis was responding to the latest report issued by the Central Bank of Barbados (CCB).
“What we have found was that the economic performance of the Barbados economy as reported by the Central Bank, indicated that from June to December 2018, the Government has actually been able to stop the downward spiral in our fiscal, our debt and our foreign exchange reserve situations,” Hennis said.
“But what has come out of this whole thing is that the Central Bank report has noted a stagnation of the country’s economic sectors and that actually is a cause for concern.”
According to Hennis, what the report really shows is that as painful as the Government’s austerity plan is right now, it still seems to be achieving the fiscal discipline required to improve the country’s overall economic situation.
While noting that Government has put a lot of good stop-gap measures in place to keep things stable for the time being, the report highlighted that the need to sustain the fiscal consolidation effort could continue to dampen economic activity.
“The government really has to hit some targets, and in trying to meet these targets, there really is not much wiggle room it has in order to expand,” Hennis said.
“Overall, an economy is driven by government spending, consumer spending, private sector investment and exports. So, if your Government factor of your overall Gross Domestic Product isn’t able to operate at its maximum, then you have to look for other areas of growth. And so basically, the Government being in a mode it has to be in right now, that could continue to dampen economic activity.”