“Compared with previous economic downturns, the Barbados economy has performed appreciably better during the current economic recession. Between 2008, when the current crisis hit, and 2013, the economy contracted by 3 percent in total. In the 1981-82 recession the decline was 7 percent, and in 1990-93 it was as much as 14 percent. What is more, the current weakness in the international economy, and the poor performances of countries where Barbados earns foreign exchange, are without precedent since World War II. Barbados has mitigated the impact of the global recession on output and employment because of the country’s competitive strengths in the international market, and because fiscal policy has been used effectively to sustain foreign exchange reserves and protect the value of the Barbados dollar in terms of US dollars.
Barbados ranks highest among Caribbean countries in the 2013-14 Global Competitiveness Report, at number 47 in the world. Barbados outperforms Caribbean and Latin American countries in terms of its infrastructure, institutions, health, education, labour market efficiency, financial market development and technological readiness. It is on par with its peers with respect to goods market efficiency, business sophistication and innovation.
At the outset of 2013, Barbados’ tourism prices and the prices of its other internationally traded goods and services were lower than they were in 2008, relative to the prices of our Caribbean competitors. However, although Barbados has remained competitive on price, there has been some decline in our share of the Caribbean market. Therefore, initiatives to promote investment, increase productivity, improve the quality of the product, and to enrich the tourist experience, are the focus of the tourism development strategy.”
View the transcript of the Analysis of Barbados’ Economic Performance here.