The Barbados economy registered 'steady progress' during the first half of this year with the island's central bank predicting that the outlook 'has become more favourable over the past 12 months.
Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes, told reporters Friday that the economy was showing progress as the Mai Mottley government continued to implement its recovery and transformation programme.
He said the programme is focused on rebuilding reserves, strengthening the public finances, reduce [public sector indebtedness, maintain financial stability and create an environment for the resumption of sustainable economic growth.
He said the government hopes to achieve such success through fiscal consolidation, debt restructuring and structural reforms.
'Initial success led to Barbados receiving its second disbursement of US$49 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and preliminary data suggests that the quantitative targets have also been achieved for the recently completed quarter,' Haynes said as he reviewed the performance of the island's economy for the first six months of the year.
He said the government has targeted a primary balance of six per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) for fiscal year 2019-20, building on the 35 per cent of GDP achieved for the previous financial year.
'Supported by reduced debt service, this consolidated relies on expenditure restraint as well as enhanced revenue collection. The 2019 budgetary measures therefore complement the 2018 reforms and strengthen revenue while redistributing the incidence of taxes,' Haynes said.
He said that the brunt of the new tax measure is being borne by higher property taxes on corporates and individuals with generally higher value properties, who are at the same time, the principal beneficiaries of corporate and income tax reforms.
The Central Bank Governor said that the ongoing fiscal reforms contributed to a favourable outturn for the first quarter of the fiscal year, with overall fiscal surplus and primary balance estimated at 1.7 per cent and 2.4 per cent of GDP respectively, describing it as 'the best performance realised in any comparable quarter over the past 30 years'.
He told reporters that revenues had increased by 7.9 per cent with personal income tax and property tax being the main source of growth.
Haynes said when compared with last year, the improved collection of personal income tax was influenced by the temporary introduction of an additional 40 per cent...