Barbados has recorded double digit economic growth of an estimated 10.5% over the first six months of 2022.
This was revealed during the Review of Barbados’ Economic Performance, January – June 2022, by Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Cleviston Haynes. Governor Haynes noted that this growth was buttressed by a rebound in the tourism sector, which although not fully back to pre-pandemic levels, performed marginally better than expected. Manufacturing exports and domestic spending also contributed to Barbados’ economic growth.
Barbados’ unemployment rate continued a steady decline, falling from 17.2% in early 2021 to 9.0% for the first quarter of 2022, as pandemic restrictions eased. Employment was spurred by both the private and public sectors in areas including tourism, wholesale and retail, transport and communications.
While the Barbados economy showed consecutive growth over five quarters, Governor Haynes stated that the external economic environment remained “extremely challenging” due in part to the Ukraine-Russian conflict, which resulted in inflation and high prices relative to food items, transportation and electricity costs, as well as inputs for the construction sector. Despite this, Barbados’ international reserves continued to remain relatively stable, totalling approximately BDS$ 3,008 million, equivalent of 33.7 weeks of import cover.
Although global uncertainly prevails, it was noted that there were several drivers which could assist Barbados in ramping up its economic recovery, including increasing and sustaining tourist arrivals, accelerating the implementation of investment projects, enhancing the ease of doing business and further strengthening of the private sector.