Business Monday: $33m in savings recorded from global oil prices decline
CENTRAL Bank of Barbados Governor, Dr. Delisle Worrell, said that fuel prices fell by 37 per cent, and that the volume of fuels imported into Barbados was down 16 per cent.
Oil prices have tumbled from close to US$100 a barrel in 2013 to almost US$30 a barrel this year. This presented a respite for Barbados, which previous to the drop in prices, was forking out in excess of $700 million to pay for energy imports.
As a result of the lower oil prices, retail prices in Barbados are estimated to have remained unchanged for the quarter, said Dr. Worrell, who last week reviewed the performance of the local economy for the period January to March 2016.
He also said that there were declines in most other imported goods, including food and beverages which contracted four per cent.
The economy grew 1.7 per cent in the first quarter, and is projected to grow by 1.6 per cent for the whole of 2016. The main contributor to growth during the first quarter was tourism, which saw a seven per cent increase in long stay visitor arrivals.
In the meantime, the Governor said there was a slowdown in the installation of solar photovoltaic systems by homeowners and businesses.
According to him, “Three megawatts of energy was produced by new installations in the first quarter, compared with the four megawatts in the same period last year.”
He added that the Barbados Light and Power continued work on its solar farm, with a capacity of 10 megawatts, which is targeted to come on stream in September this year.