Barbados registered economic growth of 10% during July-September 2021 relative to the corresponding period in 2020.
However, for the first 9 months of the year economic activity is estimated to have been approximately 3.2% below the corresponding period in 2020. Indeed at end-September, the gross international reserves totalled $2,865 million, covering approximately 42 weeks of imports. Tourism continued its recovery during the third quarter with long-stay arrivals totalling 43,019 visitors compared to 13,247 during the similar period in 2020. Unemployment declined to 15.9% while the labour force participation rate increased to 62.1%.
Revenue increased by 3% as taxes on consumption improved from the slump in the previous year, however taxes on incomes declined by 12%. Non-interest expenditure rose by 15% principally because of rising expenditures to address the on-going impact of COVID-19 and recent unexpected climatic events. While the debt stock reached $13.1 billion, up from $12.9 billion in March, the debt ratio fell by 5 percentage points to 146.1% of GDP at the end of September 2021. (CBB)
Extract from CARICOM BUSINESS Newsletter Vol 4 No 43
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