Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Cleviston Haynes, is seeing signs that the Barbados economy is approaching where it was in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, he warned that it would still be a challenging period because of the external factors which affect the domestic economy.
Tourist arrivals in 2022 reached 62 per cent of 2019 levels, with December visitors reaching 78 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels. In contract, cruise visitor arrivals were 36 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels.
Last year, the Barbados economy grew by 10 per cent and both the Bank and external entities are predicting growth between four and five per cent this year.
“The rejuvenated performance was led by the tourism sector, as the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions on travel, recreation and business operations enabled a full reopening of the economy. Preliminary estimates are that economic output rebounded by ten per cent, generating a U-shaped recovery path,” he said.
“The accelerated resumption of global travel boosted tourism and in the fourth quarter, the sector’s out-turn was stronger than forecast, resulting in overall growth for the three-month period of 9.5 per cent. This together with the positive spill-over to the ancillary sectors buoyed the recovery for the year.” (Nation News)