CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR Dr DeLisle Worrell has told business leaders that the island’s foreign reserves have stabilised and he expects about $3 billion in tourism investments over the next three years.
In correspondence yesterday to top executives in retail, real estate, telecommunications, food service and banking, Worrell said the overriding objective of Government’s fiscal adjustment, which started in August last year, was “to arrest the slide in foreign exchange reserves” and to “protect the value of the Barbados dollar”.
In what he described as a monthly update, the governor told business leaders: “There was a small gain in tourism value added, mainly on account of the [United Kingdom] market. An increase in projected airlift from North America holds promise of improved performance in that market in the forthcoming winter season. In addition, private capital inflows have begun to pick up.”
He said Government’s fiscal consolidation measures, many of which resulted in job cuts in the public service, had yielded $51 million in fiscal savings in the April to June quarter.
Describing this as a “useful start”, the Central Bank chief said “the economic team led by the Minister of Finance [Chris Sinckler] continues to evaluate the fiscal performance, now on a weekly basis, making adjustments to keep on track to achieve the deficit target of about six per cent for this fiscal year”.