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EconomicPoliticalStructural

Barbados – Quick View
ECR score35.13 (Mar 2011)
ECR rank116 (Mar 2011)
Economic
GDP at constant prices 2010USD 3.99 billion
GNI 2010USD 12,196
FDI inflowUSD 289.5 million
Inflation 20105.4%
Central bank assetsUSD 5,631.67 million
Unemployment rate 2010 (till Q3)11.2%
Government deficit 2010USD 352.04 million
Tax revenue 2010USD 1,052.37 million
Political
Government typeParliamentary democracy
Recent political crisisNA
Economic freedom score42nd
Freedom of information scoreNA
Corruption perception index 201017th
Structural
Birth rate 200911%
Population balanceUnder 14 – 17.3%
Population balanceOver 60 females – 17.4%
Population balanceOver 60 males – 12.3%
Life expectancy yearsMale 75 years
Life expectancy yearsFemale 81 years
Mortality rate 201011 per 10,000
Literacy rate 200997.60%
Internet access 201049.7%

[Top] Economic Overview

Barbados has a stable and parliamentary democratic system of government. Tourism is the main foreign exchange earner, with agriculture, oil and the financial services sector contributing to the island’s economy.

(Source: gov.bb)

The country's economy has been reliant upon the sugar cane industry. Recently the tourism industry's contributions have surpassed sugar cane to become the primary industry on the island. The economy is also dependent on banking and other financial services. The current global downturn resulted in a sharp contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009. Economic recovery is estimated to be seen in 2011, following the progressive trend of the United States.

(Source: ambest.com, page: 2)

GDP at Constant Prices

Barbados GDP

(Source: Central Bank, page: 11)

GDP at constant prices has been fluctuating since 2005. GDP at constant prices for the year 2010 was BDS 8.1 billion as compared to BDS 7.8 billion in 2009 reflecting an increase of 3.85%.

GDP Growth Rate

 

Barbados GDP Growth Rate

 

 

(Source: Central Bank, page: 10)

The GDP growth rate was moderate from 2005 to 2007. Further, from 2007 to 2009 the growth rate declined from 3.8% to -4.7%. However, in 2010, the growth rate increased to -0.4%.

GNI Per Capita

GNI per capita of the country was USD 12,196 during 2010.

(Source: news.bbc)

Income Tax Rate

The income tax rate in Barbados is 20% to 35%.

(Source: worldwide-tax)

Taxable Income (BDM)

Tax Rate %

BDM 0 - 24,200

20

Over BDM 24,200

35

Corporate Tax Rate

The corporate tax rate in Barbados is 25%. VAT rate is 15%.

(Source: taxrates.cc)

Inflation Rate

 

Barbados Inflation Rate

 (Sources: Central Bank, page: 10)

Inflation rates in Barbados have fluctuated since 2005. During 2010, the inflation rate was 5.4%.

FDI Inflow

The FDI inflow in Barbados was on a steady rise from 2005 to 2009, increasing at a CAGR of 48.15%. Further, in 2010, the FDI inflow witnessed a marginal decline and amounted to USD 289.5 million. 

 

Barbados FDI inflow

 

 (Source: heritage.org, worldbank.org)

Reserves  

 

Barbados Foreign Exchange Reserves

 (Source: Central Bank, page: 10)

Foreign exchange reserves in 2010 amounted to BDS 1,450.90 million, a decreases of 2.30% from 2009 which was BDS 1,485.10 million.

Banking Sector Assets

Barbados Banking Sector Assets

 
 
(Source: Central Bank, page: 15)
 
Banking sector assets in 2010 (till Oct) was BDS 11,423.60 million, increases of 2.30% from BDS 11,166.60 million in 2009.

[Top] Financial Indicators & Government Financial

Consumer Price Index

Barbados Consumer Price Index

 

(Source: IMF)

The Consumer Price Index for the year 2010 (e) is recorded at 150.66, an increase of 5% over the 2009 value of 143.49, indicating a year-on-year increase in the CPI.

Interest Rates on Deposits


Year

Interest Rates on Deposits (%)

2010 (till Nov)

2.7

2009

2.65

2008

4.07

 (Source: Central Bank, refer: “Chart Data”)

In 2008, 2009 and 2010 (till Nov), the interest rates on Deposits registered at 4.07%, 2.65% and 2.7% respectively. This indicates a decrease in interest rates on Deposits from 2008.

 

Total Deposits

Barbados Total Deposits

 (Source: Central Bank, page: 15)

The total deposits in 2010 amounted to BDS 8,671.70 million. In 2009, it was BDS 8,783.60 million. Total Deposits increased from 2005 to 2007 and from 2007 to 2010 it witnessed a year-on-year decline.

Government Expenditure

 

 

Barbados Total Expenditure

(Source: Central Bank, page: 13)

Total expenditure increased from 2004 to 2009 and declined in 2010. The total expenditure in 2010 registered at BDS 3,012.70 million, a decrease of 4.77% from BDS 3,163.50 million in 2009.

Official Exchange Rate

 

Year

Buying Rate (BDS)

Selling Rate (BDS)

2011 (till Feb)

1.98

2.04

2010

1.98

2.04

2009

1.98

2.04

2008

1.98

2.04

2007

1.98

2.04

(Source: Central Bank)

The BDS per US dollar rate for the year 2011 (till Feb) was registered at 1.98 (buying rate) and 2.04 (selling rate).  The exchange rate has been constant since 2007.

 

Government finances

Fiscal Balance

Year

Revenue

(BDS million)

Expenditure

(BDS million)

Fiscal Balance (BDS million)

2010

2,298.30

3,012.70

-714.4

2009

2,429.80

3,163.50

-733.7

2008

2,519.40

2,927.80

-408.4

2007

2,440.60

2,566.30

-125.7

2006

2,278.50

2,406.50

-128

2005

2,021.10

2,278.20

-257.1

2004

1,895.60

2,019.60

-124

 (Source: Central Bank, page: 13)

Total Revenue


Barbados Total Revenue

(Source: Central Bank, page: 13)

The Total Revenue for 2010 was recorded at BDS 2,298.30 million, a decrease of 5.41% from 2009 which was BDS 2,429.80 million. Total Revenue increased from 2004 to 2008 and thereafter decreased continuously.

Tax revenue


Barbados Tax Revenue

(Source: Central Bank, page: 13)

In 2010, the total tax revenue collected in Barbados amounted to BDS 2,135.60 million, a decrease of 3.11% from 2009 value of BDS 2,204.10 million.

Total Grants

Barbados Total Grants

 

(Source: Central Bank, page: 13)

Total Grants for the year 2010 is valued at BDS 52.5 million.

Current Account Balance

Barbados Current Account Balance

 

(Source: Central Bank, page: 12)

Barbados has registered a Current Account deficit from 2005 to 2010. In 2010, the current account balance registered a deficit of BDS 601.2 million.

Balance of Payments

Balance of Payments

(BDS million)

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

Visible Trade (Exports-  Imports)

-1,825.6

-2,484.6

-2,167.0

-2,006.6

-2,140.0

Services

1,441.3

1,797.9

1,822.5

1,620.3

1,529.9

Income

-158.7

-271.2

-159.5

-286.6

-262.6

Current Transfers (Net)

57.6

53.6

112.1

165.7

130.9

Current Balance

-485.4

-904.4

-392.0

-507.3

-741.8

Capital and Financial Account

643.8

391.3

905.1

695.9

539.1

Errors and Omissions

-80.4

14.9

42.6

-105.9

64.6

Balance of Official Financing

78.1

-498.1

555.8

82.7

-138.2

Official Financing Transaction

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

IMF

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Other Monetary Authorities

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Other Financial Institution

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Change in Reserves (CBB basis)

-78.1

498.1

-555.8

-82.7

138.2

Change in Reserves (IMF basis)

-128.7

190.9

-353.2

42.5

-46.1

(Source: Central Bank)

External Debt

Barbados External Debt

(Source: Central Bank, page: 14)

The total external debt increased steadily from 2005. Total external debt in 2010 was BDS 2,517.10 million, an increase of 12.03% from BDS 2,246.90 million in 2009.

[Top] Labour Force and Employment Overview

Labour Force

The labour force employed for Q3 2010 was 139,900 people, of which males accounted for 50.97% of the entire labour force and females accounted for 48.96% of the entire labour force.

(Source: Statistics, page: 8)

Labour Force Participation Rate

The labour force participation rate till Q3 2010 was 65.5%. Males and females accounted for 70.6% and 60.9% respectively.

(Source: Statistics, page: 11)

Skilled Labour

Occupation

Male ('000)

Female ('000)

Total ('000)

Legislators, Senior Officers.

6.4

4.7

11.1

Professionals

5.8

8.5

14.4

Technicians & Associate Professionals

7.2

6.1

13.3

Clerks

2.6

14.1

16.7

Service Workers/Shop Workers

7.7

14.2

21.9

Skilled Agricultural Workers

2.9

0.2

3.2

Craft and Related Workers

14.5

1.3

15.9

Plant & Machine Operators & Assemblers

4.2

0.9

5.1

Elementary Occupations

11.5

10.8

22.4

Not Stated

0.2

0.1

0.3

Total

63.3

60.9

124.2

(Source: Statistics, page: 13)

 

Employment in Agriculture

Employment in agriculture for Q3 2010 was 3,200 people; of which 2,700  were males and 500 were female.

(Source: Statistics, page: 12)

Employment in Industries

Industry (Q3 2010)

Total ('000)

Male ('000)

Female ('000)

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

3.2

2.7

0.5

Construction, Mining & Quarrying

14.2

13.3

0.9

Manufacturing

7.8

4.5

3.3

Elec. Gas, Steam, Water & Air Conditioning Supply

1.7

1.2

0.5

Wholesale & Retail Trade

19.7

9.5

10.2

Transportation & Storage

6.2

4.2

1.9

(Source: Central Bank, page: 12)

 

Employment in Services

Service (Q3 2010)

Total ('000)

Male ('000)

Female ('000)

Accommodation & Food Services

11.8

4.0

7.7

Finance & Insurance

7.1

2.5

4.7

Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

4.0

1.9

2.2

Administrative & Support Service

8.5

4.2

4.3

Public Administration & Defense

8.5

3.7

4.9

Education

8.0

3.1

4.9

Human Health & Social Work

7.7

1.8

5.8

Other Services

4.2

1.9

2.4

Activities of Households as Employers

4.7

1.3

3.4

Other Groups

6.7

3.4

3.3

Not stated

0.1

0.1

0.0

(Source: Central Bank, page: 12)

Unemployment Rate

Barbados Unemployment Rate

 

(Source: Central Bank, page: 10)

The unemployment rate declined from 2005 to 2007 and further increased from 2007 to 2010 (till Q3). In Q3 2010 the unemployment rate reached 11.2% of the total labour force.

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage for household domestics and shop assistants is BDS 5 per hour. The yearly minimum wage was USD 8.00 in 2009.

(Source: minimum-wage.org)

 

Level of Unionisation

The trade unions in Barbados are Barbados Worker’s Union, The Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) and National Union of Public Workers.

 

(Source: BWU, BWU, NUPWBARBADOS)

 

[Top] Political Stability

Government Stability

Barbados is an independent country within the British Commonwealth closely linked to the United Kingdom in political and legal matters.

(Source: ambest.com)

Regulatory Environment

 

Barabados Economic Freedom Indices
(Source: heritage.org)

 

The Economic Freedom score of Barbados is 68.5, making its economy the 42nd freest in the 2011 Index. The country ranks 6th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score remains well above global and regional averages.

Corruption Perception

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is a survey to measure the perceived level of corruption across countries worldwide. Barbados is ranked 17th with a score of 7.8 during 2010, indicating the corruption in the country across the government department is low.

(Source: transparency.org, page: 3)

 

Freedom of Information

The country name is not available in the Press Freedom Index 2010.

(Source: rsf.org)

Newspapers

  • Barbados Advocate
  • The Nation
  • Caribbean Week
  • Broad Street Journal

(Source: news.bbc)

Judicial System

Barbados' legal system is derived from British common law and statutes and the courts administer the laws of Barbados, consisting of local legislation. The Attorney General is responsible for the administration of the legal and judicial system.

(Source: totallybarbados.com)

There are four courts/ departments in Barbados who are primarily responsible for servicing, these are the Supreme Court (comprising the Court of Appeal and the High Court), the Magistrates’ Court, the Court Process Office and the Records Branch.

The Court of Appeal was constituted in 1992. It exercises criminal and civil jurisdiction, and hears appeals from the decisions of the High Court and the Magistrates' Courts. Matters are heard by a 'Full Court' comprising three Justices of Appeal, or by a single Justice of Appeal sitting in Chambers.

The High Court is divided into three divisions. The divisions are Civil Division, Criminal Division and Family Division.

The Court Process Office carries service documents required by any court or by any law to seize goods for sale to repay debts.

(Source: lawcourts.gov)

 

[Top] Demographic Overview

Population

The Population of Barbados in 2010 was 276,302 with annual growth of 0.11% over the previous year. 

 

Barbados Population Growth

(Source: National Statistics, IMF)

In 2010, 44.5% population was classified as urban.

(Source: undp.org)

The population aged between 0-14 years was 17.3% during 2009. The population aged 60+ years comprised of 17.4% of women and 12.3% of  men during 2009.

(Source: data.un.org)

Gender Balance

The sex Ratio for the year 2010 was 103.4 male births per 100 female births where previously during 1990, it was 102.8 male births per 100 female births.

(Source: undp.org, page: 184)

Median Age

The median age of the population increased from 28.4 years in 1990 to 37.8 years in 2010, this is primarily due to increasing life expectancy.

(Source: data.un.org, page: 184)

Life Expectancy

In Barbados, Life Expectancy at birth for the year 2010 was registered at 77.7 years and for 2009, it was 77.5 years.

(Source: undp.org)

Mortality Rate

The mortality rate of infants was recorded at 10.1 per 1,000 live births during 2010.

(Source: dataun.org)

Death Rate and Birth rate

In 2009, the crude death rate and birth rate was 8 per 1,000 population and 11 per 1,000 population respectively.

(Source: unicef.org)

Migration and Urbanisation

International migrant stock till mid-2010 was recorded at 28,100 people. This was approximately 11% of the entire population.

In the period 2005-2010, the urban and rural population grew at an annual average rate of 1.5% and -0.5% respectively.

(Source: data.un.org)

Ethnic Groups

Ethnic groups include African decent, white and Asian or mixed. Religions are Protestant, Roman Catholic and other.

(Source: state.gov)

Human Development Index

Barbados is ranked 42nd with a score of 0.788 on UNDP (United Nations Development Program)’s Human Development Index (HDI) 2010. The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and gross enrolment in education) and having a decent standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income).

(Source: undp.org)

[Top] Soft Infrastructure

Education

In 2008, the literacy rate of Barbados was 99.70%.

(Source: Central Bank)

The education system in the country provides free education at primary, secondary and tertiary level. The system consists of:

  • 101 Primary Schools (71 Government and 30 Private schools)
  • 29 Secondary Schools (22 Public and 7 Government Assisted Private schools)
  • 4 Special Schools (2 public and 2 Private)

Tertiary Level Institutions include:

  • The Barbados Community College (BCC)
  • The Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP)
  • The University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus
  • The Medical Transcription Training Centre (MTTC)

The schools division is made up of two sub-units and is supervised by a Deputy Chief Education Officer. The sub-units are School Supervision and Management and Student Services.

The Schools Supervision and Management Unitinclude Primary and Secondary Schools. The main functions of this sub-unit includes the supervision of public and private assisted schools, registration and selection of teachers for appointments (at Primary Level) and advising schools on educational and administrative matters. 

The public primary and private assisted secondary schools are divided into five districts.

(Source: Network Barbados, Ministry of Education, page: 18)

Health

Barbados has a high standard of health care services. The main Government hospital - the Queen Elizabeth Hospital - has 600 beds and offers specialized care in areas such as pediatrics, obstetrics, plastic surgery, radiology, etc.

There are also 8 government Polyclinics providing free medical treatment for minor ailments, 5 Geriatric hospitals for the care of the elderly and a network of Child Care facilities.

(Source: barbados.org)

The two main hospitals in Barbados are The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and Bayview Hospital. The famous pharmacy in the country is Barbados Pharmacies.

(Source: life-in-style-barbados)

[Top] Hard Infrastructure

Public Transit

The main methods of public transport used in Barbados are Cars, Taxis, Buses and ZR Van’s (privately owned mini buses). Other modes of transport in the country are sea transport and air transport. Collected passenger fees for other transport was BDS 14.2 million more than Sea Transport BDS 5 million and Air Transport.

(Source: Central Bank, barbodos.com)

Roadways

The total road length across Barbados was measured at 1,600 km in 2004.

(Source: world.bymap.org)

Ports

The major port in Barbados is the Port of Bridgetown.

(Source: worldportsouce.com)

Airports

There is only single airport in Barbados named Grantley Adams International, with a runway length of 11,000 ft.

(Source: aircraft-charter-world)

Telecommunication

Internet users in Barbados accounted for 49.7% of the total population during 2010. The user growth for the past decade from 2000 to 2010 was 2,266.7%.

(Source: internetworldstats.com)

Barbados Fixed Telephone Line Subscribers

(Source: ITU)

During 2009, Fixed Telephone Line Subscribers were 135,700 people, a decrease of 9.53% from the 2008 value of 150,000 people.

 

Barbados Mobile Cellular Subscribers

(Source: ITU)

During 2009 the number of Mobile Cellular Subscribers was 337,061, an increase of 16.77% from the 2008 value of 288,662 people.

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