- Barbados is recovering from the shocks of the recent years, with economic growth estimated at 10 percent in 2022.
- Implementation of the updated Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT 2022) program is ongoing, including steps to advance the structural reform agenda and build resilience to climate change, supported by the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF).
- Program targets under the Fund-supported program for end-December 2022 were met, and international reserves reached US$1.4 billion at the end of 2022.
USA / BARBADOS – An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Pablo Morra visited Bridgetown between February 13-16, 2023.
The team discussed the implementation of Barbados’ updated Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT 2022) plan and reform efforts to build resilience to natural disasters and climate change, supported by the IMF under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF) approved in December 2022.
To summarize the mission’s findings, Morra made the following statement:
“Barbados faced challenging conditions in recent years as a result of the global pandemic, natural disasters, and the rise in global food and fuel prices. After contracting by 14 percent in 2020-2021, economic activity is recovering strongly, driven by the tourism sector, with real GDP growth estimated at 10 percent in 2022. The economic recovery is expected to continue in 2023.
“The authorities continue making good progress in implementing their ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program. Targets for end-December under the IMF’s EFF were met. International reserves stood at US$1.4 billion at the end of 2022, equivalent to about seven months of imports. Fiscal performance was strong in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2022/23, which bodes well for meeting the 2 percent of GDP primary balance target for the full fiscal year. Preparation of a budget for fiscal year 2023/24 is well underway.
“Several steps have been taken to advance the structural reform agenda, including actions to strengthen and modernize procedures for granting and managing duty and tax exemptions and safeguard the sustainability of the National Insurance Fund. Work is also underway on reforms to enhance the sustainability of the public sector pension scheme, strengthen tax administration, and implement reform measures to build resilience to climate change under the RSF.
“The team is looking forward to conducting discussions for the first review under the EFF and the RSF in May and would like to thank the authorities and the technical team for their openness and candid discussions.”
IMF Communications Department