FORMER trade unionist and ambassador, Joseph Goddard, believes that the local economy will continue to register improved growth.
Goddard, who served for many years as President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), said yesterday that he is fortified by a projection coming from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Barbados should
see growth of about 1.7 per cent in 2017.
He told The Barbados Advocate that Government has to act with more haste in getting construction moving by having its big projects going to assure more growth.
The economy grew by 1.6 per cent last year, “so I think that Barbados will see more growth”, said Goddard who was also Barbados’ Ambassador to the United Nations.
Earlier this week the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, said he believes that economic growth this year will be better than last year. Like Goddard he had also said there was every chance that once the Sam Lords Castle project as well as the Hyatt get going, there is no reason why a three per cent growth rate cannot be achieved.
Goddard said that while the country gets a lot of the data and the numbers on the economy from the Government, the IMF indicators also complete the story.
According to him, “The IMF would be better placed to know what is possible with Barbados in the prevailing circumstances and the projection comes over as conservative.”
The forecast by the Fund is the latest on the narrative about Barbados economy hit hard by recession and which is taking time to ride out of the crisis it has experienced since 2008.
There has been speculation that given the low economic growth, declining foreign reserves, the high deficit, and rising debt that the country is a candidate for a Standby Arrangement with the IMF. However, Government while acknowledging the challenges, said there are no plans as yet to seek an agreement with the IMF.