Central Bank of Barbados

Economic Prospects for the Caribbean

2013: The economic prospects for the Caribbean depend on creative private sector responses to the challenges of the countries’ markets for exports of goods and services, principally in North America and Europe. Governments’ role is to stabilise exchange rates, thereby minimising inflation and ensuring domestic policy credibility, to support the private sector export thrust in selected, strategic areas, and to secure the social safety net for vulnerable groups in society. These countries have all achieved a relatively good quality of life for their citizens, reflected in Human Development Indices that range from the medium to the highest category; simply by avoiding economic contraction they may preserve a comparatively good lifestyle, in the interval that will be required while new investments in exports, tourism and other export services germinate.

Growth Forecasts for Foreign Exchange Constrained Economies

2012: Insufficiency of foreign exchange may at times constrain the growth of small open economies which lack the domestic resources to produce import substitutes for their consumption, investment and input needs. This study explores the foreign exchange constraint in three small open Caribbean economies, using a structural model of the relationship of foreign exchange earnings and growth, and the economies’ openness to international markets. The model is used to evaluate the prospects of economic growth for these economies, based on the forecast availability of foreign exchange.

A Review of the VAT System in Barbados

2012: The paper finds that (a) the proportion of indirect taxes in total revenue remained unchanged after the introduction of the VAT; (b) the yield of the VAT relative to the rate of tax, was no higher than for the consumption tax in the period prior to its introduction; (c) the costs of administering the VAT and customs duties were about the same, relative to their yields, before and after the introduction of the VAT; and (d) the consumption taxes that preceded the VAT were more buoyant in response to changes in income, and more elastic, than was the VAT.