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Date: 30 Apr, 2022
Source: Invest Barbados

Barbados has recorded 11.8% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2022.

This is according to Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Cleviston Haynes, who recently presented the country’s economic review for January to March 2022.

Barbados’ economic growth was bolstered mainly by tourism, which recorded the highest levels of long-stay arrivals to the country since the beginning of the pandemic, although not yet back to pre-Covid levels. The production of goods for export markets also contributed to the increased GDP. Other sectors that experienced growth during the first quarter of this year included the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, which experienced increased growth of 5.4% and 3% respectively.

Although the Barbados economy is currently on a positive trajectory, uncertainty associated with external developments remains a concern.
Making reference to the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war, Governor Haynes explained, “The longer the conflict and the more severe the sanctions, etc., on Russia, the more likely it is that prices, whether for oil or for international foods, could increase and if that happens, that obviously has a domestic impact because…being a small open economy that imports a lot of what we consume, we would then be importing those elevated prices…”

Another concern continues to be the COVID-19 pandemic, which although its spread and severity has diminished somewhat, the risk of any upsurge can still pose a threat to global recovery.

Governor Haynes also noted that although Barbados had no control over external shocks, there were several initiatives that could be implemented domestically to mitigate these shocks. Such initiatives included continued investment in the renewable energy sector to bolster the country’s competitiveness, lowering the cost of doing business, increasing output and improving turn around times. The Barbados Government also recently introduced various measures in its recent Financial Economic Statement to address the country’s rising cost of living.

Emphasising that, “a dollar saved in foreign exchange is like a dollar earned in foreign exchange,” the Governor highlighted other measures that were necessary to improve economic activity in the country, such as strengthening domestic food production to allay some of the rising costs and reducing the reliance on fossil fuels, which would over time, bring Barbados’ import bill down.

The Barbados economy, which has recorded growth over the last four quarters, is expected to experience double-digit recovery for the remainder of 2022.