(Barbados Today) The Barbados economy, which grew by an estimated 2.2 per cent during the first half of this year, is expected to slow by the end of 2017.

Acting Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes gave the revised projection today as he addressed a meeting of the Social Partnership at the Barbados Hilton Resort.

While suggesting that growth would be “in the region of 1.3 per cent to 1.8 per cent, compared to earlier estimates of 1.5 to 2 per cent”, Haynes explained that the economy remained very challenged with the international reserves plummeting to $635.5 million or just 9.7 weeks of import at the end of June.

This is even further below the 12-weeks benchmark, from the $705.4 million or about 10.7 weeks of import as at the end of March.

Making a presentation to Government, private sector and trade union leaders that was also nationally televised, Haynes said the drop in reserves was due mainly to Government’s expected external debt service obligations and the ongoing delays in securing planned foreign investment inflows.

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