Barbados making good economic progress — IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is providing Barbados with US$48 million after the executive board of the Washington-based financial institution completed the second review of the multi-million dollar IMF Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Tao Zhang, the managing director and acting chair of the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF approved the US$290 million EFF programme for Barbados in October last year, and the IMF said that programme implementation “is strong” and that “all programme targets for end-June and end-September 2019 have been met.”

The IMF said that since May 2018, international reserves have increased from a low of US$220 million to more than US$600 million at end-October 2019.

“This target for end-September 2019 was met by a significant margin.”

— Zhang

On Monday, the IMF executive board completed the second review of Barbados’ economic reform programme (BERT) supported by the EFF.

“The completion of the review allows the authorities to draw the equivalent of SDR 35 million (about US$48 million), bringing total disbursements to the equivalent of SDR 105 million (about US$145 million),” the IMF added.

Fiscal adjustment continues

The executive board said it had also concluded the 2019 Article IV consultation with Barbados and that a report on that review would be issued later.

IMF managing director and acting chair, Tao Zhang, said Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its comprehensive home-grown economic reform programme and that all quantitative performance criteria, indicative targets, and all structural benchmarks for end-September 2019 were met.

He said the fiscal adjustment continues as programmed with the primary surplus targeted at six per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) for the financial year 2019/20 and subsequent years.

“This target for end-September 2019 was met by a significant margin, and the financial year 2019/20 budget provides a solid basis for reaching the target for the next fiscal year. Tax policy reforms aim to enhance revenue, while improvements in tax and customs administration are essential to support medium-term revenue,” he said.