Barbados

In-depth country-focused analysis on Barbados's economic, political and operational risk environment, complemented by detailed sector insight

Barbados

Our comprehensive assessment of Barbados's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Barbados, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Barbados' industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Barbados before your competitors.

Country Risk

Barbados Country Risk

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Core Views:

  • We believe that most of the English-speaking Caribbean will continue to see a modest economic recovery in the coming quarters as the US growth story begins to gain ground. That said, even with a modest acceleration in growth, those countries most reliant on tourism and financial services will continue to struggle, as we expect these industries are unlikely to return to pre-crisis levels in the foreseeable future. Indeed, while we expect that lower precious metals prices will prompt a weakening macroeconomic outlook for the region's miners, growth will still be stronger than in the predominantly tourism-driven countries.

  • Caribbean economies will continue to face economic headwinds in the coming years in light of rising debt burdens, fixed exchange rate regimes, and modest growth prospects. These factors, combined with our view that neither the tourism nor...

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Barbados Industry Coverage (4)

Food & Drink

Barbados Food & Drink

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BMI View: We are turning more positive regarding economic growth in the Caribbean, as structural and financial reforms take hold in the region, tourism numbers pick up and growth becomes stronger in key markets like the US. The large decline in the price of oil over the last nine months will boost the region's consumer spending, as the Caribbean is a large net oil importer. Inflation will remain low, which will help food consumption growth over the coming years. That said, many regional economies continue to be heavily indebted, which limits general investment. We believe that general food...

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Insurance

Barbados Insurance

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BMI View: Apparent slow growth in the region during 2015 is generally the result of continued USD strength, rather than structural weaknesses in the insurance sector. While offshore business, principally in Barbados and the Cayman Islands, may steal the headlines, domestic business is typically under-developed in both life and non-life lines. International players barely feature in the region, deterred by small market sizes and the strength of leading regional players who control large portions of most markets.

The insurance markets of the Caribbean, particularly offshore business but also domestic sectors, are heavily tied to the economic fortunes of the United States and Canada. The ongoing recovery in both of these should boost the fortunes of the region's insurers, driving demand for offshore reinsurance and captives, as well as boosting domestic economies. On the whole, regulation...

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Telecommunications

Barbados Telecommunications

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BMI View: The announcement of the IPO by pan-Caribbean operator Digicel bodes well for the future of the region, with additional funds raised for investment in next-generation networks, converged services and further market expansion. However, it also demonstrates the saturated nature of the telecoms industry in the Caribbean, with revenue and subscriber growth flattening. A key downside risk is the company's exposure to weak consumer spending trends in its core markets, an issue that could undermine investor confidence further down the line. Haiti and Cuba represent the largest organic growth opportunities in the region, as both are significantly underdeveloped compared to their peers. However, the risks associated with business in these two markets mean that a mobile subscription boom is far from likely.

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Tourism

Barbados Tourism

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BMI View: The ongoing economic uptick in the US will translate into rising departures to the Caribbean in 2015, with St Lucia, St Eustatius, the Cayman Islands and Cuba set to perform particularly well. We see particular opportunities in Cuba, with the US-Cuba diplomatic rapprochement boosting prospects for a relaxation of the bilateral tourist regime.

We forecast mixed fortunes for the Caribbean in 2015, with most islands seeing growth in tourist arrivals but a few registering declines. The latter include Barbados (0.6%), Bonaire (6.1%), the Dominican Republic (1.5%) and St Vincent (1.6%). We believe that these declines reflect the drop of 1.2% in arrivals from Europe in 2015, with these economies usually registering strong arrivals from Europe. However, overall the Caribbean will see a net increase in tourist arrivals in 2015, as improving consumer confidence in the US leads more US tourists to visit the region,...

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Latest Barbados Articles

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