Barbados News Business

IMF pleased with Barbados economic progress

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Friday said that Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its economic reform programme and that its international reserves reached US$740 million at the end of 2019.

It said that the primary surplus for the first three quarters of the financial year 2019/20 amounted to almost five per cent of annual gross domestic product (GDP) and that the island is on track to reach the six per cent primary surplus target for the financial year.

An IMF delegation, headed by Bert van Selm Friday ended a four-day visit to discuss implementation of Barbados’ Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan, which is supported by the Washington-based financial institution under the US$280 million Extended Fund Facility (EFF) granted in 2018.

The IMF official said that Bridgetown continues to make good progress in implementing the economic reform programme and that the completion of the external debt restructuring in December 2019 “has reduced economic uncertainty, and the agreed terms with creditors will help to keep public debt on a clear downward trajectory”.

On December 11, 2019, the US-based rating agency, Standard and Poor’s, upgraded Barbados’ foreign currency sovereign credit rating from Selective Default to B- and van Selm said all indicative targets for end-December under the EFF have been met.

He said the programme target for Net International Reserves (NIS) was met by “a wide margin” as was the target for the Central Bank of Barbados’ Net Domestic Assets.

“Good progress also continues to be made towards implementing the structural benchmarks under the EFF. A revised Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) law is expected to be ready to be sent to Parliament shortly. Preparation of the budget for financial year 2020/21 targeting a primary surplus of 6 percent of GDP is well underway.”

The IMF official said that the delegation returns to Barbados in May to conduct the discussions for the third review under the EFF.

CMC

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