On December 16, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation1 with Barbados. During the same meeting, the Board also completed the second review of Barbados’ economic reform program supported by an arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF); a press release on the review was issued separately.
2019 Barbados continues its strong implementation of the comprehensive Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan aimed at restoring fiscal and debt sustainability, addressing falling reserves, and increasing growth. The program seeks to protect vulnerable groups through strengthened social safety nets.
During the first nine months of 2019, the economy contracted by 0.2 percent, in line with program projections. With the economy heavily dependent on external demand for tourism services, the impact of the fiscal adjustment on growth has been limited.
Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board.
At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country’s authorities. An explanation of any qualifiers used in summings up can be found here: http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/misc/qualifiers.htm.