Ezine Business 2004
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- Business Ezine 2005
Compliments of the Nation News
GOVERNOR of the Central Bank, Dr Marion Williams, is adamant that wages in Barbados must be kept down.
However, she said that despite the need for wage restraint, "anomalies" in the system should not be ignored.
In her first comments since the controversial issue of wage increases of up to 20 per cent for politicians and top civil servants following a regrading exercise in the public service, Williams said yesterday ". . . that commitment to wage restraint does not mean that if there are certain anomalies which present themselves, that we should not deal with them". < Read more>
Once again, tourism will be the limb on which Barbados’ economy will grow. Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr Marion Williams, made this clear at last week’s Press conference, which was called to review the economy’s performance in 2003 and to present the forecast for this year.
Dr. Williams said economic activity would expand by between three per cent and three-and-a-half per cent this year, on the strength of increased growth in tourism, construction and wholesale and retail activity.
by Marva Cossy
Compliments of the Nation News
Dr. Williams told reporters: “This is the largest increase in a first quarter . . . for a decade”.
It also marked the eighth consecutive quarter of positive movement for the economy, which slid into recession during the April to June period of 2001 and continued on that downward trend until the third quarter of 2002 when a 1.4 per cent improvement was registered.
Dr. Williams told the Press that given the record over the last ten to 12 years, an average economic growth of about three to three-and-a-half per cent was usually quite sustainable for Barbados.
“Sometimes, if you go over three-and-a-half per cent, unless you can change the structure of production and consumption, you can encounter difficulties,” the Governor explained.
Dr. Williams, who was speaking at a Press conference to review the January to March performance, linked the most recent economic improvement to an estimated 7.1 per cent upturn in the traded sectors, mainly tourism. But she said this was supported by broad-based growth averaging around three per cent in the non-traded sectors.
The Governor’s report also revealed that tourism, which led the economy’s expansion, grew by 14.4 per cent, the highest first quarter growth rate in ten years.
She attributed this to ongoing economic recovery in Barbados’ main tourism source markets.
The sector also benefited from the use of Barbados as a homeport for cruise liners, increased airlift capacity, and the third cricket Test match between the West Indies and England, Dr. Williams said.
Sugar production fell by 9.4 per cent due to the late start of the crop; non-sugar agriculture and manufacturing also declined.
The wholesale and retail sector recorded a robust growth of 4.8 per cent, which Dr. Williams said was directly related to a rise in demand resulting from the strong tourism out-turn.
Output in construction rose by 3.3 per cent and inflation, propelled by rise in food prices and transportation, rose by 1.5 per cent.
Information compliments of the Nation News
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