Sinckler: Economy benefitting from lower oil prices
The drop in oil prices internationally has already been positively impacting the local economy.
However, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler is urging the public not to step back from the push to have alternative energy resources fully explored.
“Whether it is wind, solar, waste to energy or whatever the case may be, we have to continue to go forward with that. Because as I said we have no control over what happens with the oil prices and the oil producers.
“But we do have some control over what we harvest and what we generate from alternative sources of energy,” Sinckler told reporters yesterday.
He indicated that economically, the reduction in oil prices should feed through to the ordinary consumers and business.
But Sinckler stressed that the hotel industry, which just two years ago was holding major discussions on the amount of money they were forced to spend on energy costs, should already be seeing a reduction in their electricity bills.
“So you are not hearing so much of the pressure on them in that regard. So immediately you can see in our biggest foreign exchange sector, one of our biggest single employers in terms of the economic sector, you are beginning to see benefits there.
“And you will see benefits across a whole set of things retailing, wholesaling and entities that utilize a lot of energy. It would have a positive benefit on the economy of Barbados,” he said.
The Minister noted that the country generally preferred to benefit from lower oil prices, against the background that energy has a ripple effect throughout the economy, affecting not only households but also businesses and the final cost of items and transportation.
“It could be a break on the economy so there is a point at which we wouldn’t particularly like to see it go below. We don’t have control over international prices, we are price takers so we have to wish for the best,” he said.