At the invitation of the authorities, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Judith Gold visited Barbados from June 20–29 to review recent economic developments and discuss the 2017 budget. At the end of the visit, Ms. Gold issued the following statement:

“The Barbadian economy continues its recovery on the back of stronger tourism performance, but improving public finances remains a critical challenge. Economic growth in 2016 is estimated to have been 1.6 percent and to have accelerated in the first quarter of 2017 to 2 percent. The stronger economic performance has supported a reduction in the unemployment rate to 9.7 percent in 2016 from 11.3 percent in 2015. Inflation started to pick up in the second half of 2016 after deflation in 2015, and on a point-to-point basis reached 3.2 percent by end-December 2016 mainly due to higher food prices…

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