||Central Bank Of Barbados
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has completed its third review of Barbados’ Extended Fund Facility Programme. As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the review was conducted via videoconference.
Following the wrap up of the weeklong meetings, Bert van Selm, who led the IMF team, issued a statement:
“The ongoing global coronavirus pandemic poses a major challenge for the economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism. An economic contraction of more than 10 percent is projected for 2020. The shock will have a large impact on the fiscal accounts and the balance of payments. The Government aims to accommodate the loss of government revenues and additional emergency outlays on health facilities and medical supplies, as well as provide income support to the most vulnerable groups in society.”
Van Selm revealed that the IMF and the Barbados Government have reached a staff level agreement to reduce one of the programme’s major targets:
“In response to the pandemic, the Government of Barbados is now targeting a primary surplus of 1 percent of GDP for FY2020/21 (compared to 6 percent previously envisaged). Staff supports this easing of the fiscal stance and, subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board, proposes an augmentation of the extended facility in the amount of SDR66 million (about US$90 million).”
He also confirmed that Barbados had met all of its targets:
“All program criteria for end-March 2020 under the EFF have been met. The program target for Net International Reserves was met by a wide margin, as was the target for the Central Bank of Barbados’ Net Domestic Assets (NDA).”
Read the full statement here.