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Barbados expected to record slight economic growth in 2015

Barbados expected to record slight economic growth in 2015

Posted by Shanelle Weir on October 09, 2014

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Barbados to rebound from an economic slowdown this year to register growth of under one per cent in 2015. This projection has come as the Washington, D.C.-based institution revealed that most of the Caribbean region will experience economic growth in 2015.

The outlook is contained in the IMF’s bi-annual World Economic Outlook (WEO) released two days ago. Up to the half year to June 2014, the Barbados economy had remained flat, neither declining nor growing, according to information published by the island’s Central Bank.

Barbados currently has in place a 19-month fiscal consolidation policy, which by the end of March next year, is projected to trim the high deficit of around 11 per cent of gross domestic product to around six per cent of gross domestic product. 

According to the WEO, the IMF forecasts a 0.6 per cent contraction this year in Barbados, followed by weak growth of 0.5 per cent in 2015. The IMF WEO estimates exclude Cuba and the region’s various colonial territories.

In the meantime, it said that the Dominican Republic’s gross domestic product is expected to end 2014 with growth of 5.3 per cent and to expand by 4.2 per cent in 2015. Haiti’s economy will grow 3.8 per cent this year and by 3.7 per cent in 2015, the Fund projects. Dominica will grow 1.4 per cent this year and 1.8 per cent in 2015, according to the IMF, which expects St. Lucia to suffer contraction of 1.1 per cent in 2014 before bouncing back to expand by 1.4 per cent next year. 

Both the IMF and the World Bank are gearing up to hold their annual meetings in Washington, D.C. Earlier this week, the IMF’s Managing Director, Ms. Christine Lagarde, said that overall, the global economy is weaker than they had envisaged even six months ago. “Only a modest pickup is foreseen for 2015, as the outlook for potential growth has been pared down.”

However, she acknowledged that prospects differ across countries and regions. Following her presentation at Georgetown University in the USA, the IMF issued a report scaling back growth prospects for this year, the third such occasion the IMF has had to revise downwards its growth prospects for 2014.

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