Central Bank Governor, Cleviston Haynes has painted a positive picture of the local economy for the first nine months of the year.
He says it was characterized by a further strengthening of public finances, reduced public sector debt and a steady improvement in the international reserves.
Governor Haynes says international reserves grew by 226.4 million dollars for the first nine months of the year.
They were shored up by the drawdown of the second tranche from the IMF, more foreign exchange in the banking system and lower external debt payments.
Mr Haynes notes despite growing confidence in the economy there have still been delays in the start of private sector investment projects. Additionally, low levels of capital spending in the public sector have accounted for a 0.2 percent decrease in economic activity.
Governor Haynes also reports tourism continues to show positive signs with a four percent growth in long stay arrivals – a large majority of who come from the US and the UK.
He revealed government earned 38 million dollars each from the fuel and airline and travel development taxes, 34 from the garbage and sewerage tax and about 32 million from the health levy.
The unemployment rate at the end of September stood at 10.8 percent, an increase from 9.2 percent at the end of the same period in 2018.
And regarding the outlook for the economy, Governor Haynes is projecting a flat forecast in 2019.
Overall, Mr Haynes says Barbados is making substantial progress but there is still much more work to be done.