No ignoring S&P

Acting PM responds to latest economic downgrade

Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy says the recent downgrade by international ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) should not be ignored.

At the same time, Sealy does not expect any tourism fallout as a result of  S&P’s lowering of the long-term local currency sovereign credit rating on the country to ‘CCC’ from ‘CCC+, while affirming its long-term foreign currency sovereign rating at ‘CCC+’.

However, even though S&P has said that the outlook on both long-term ratings is negative, Sealy does not expect the latest downgrade to have a direct impact on the vital tourism sector.

In fact, delivering the weekly Astor B Watts lunchtime lecture at the Democratic Labour Party’s George Street headquarters on Friday, he pointed to a number of current and pending investments in the sector, arguing that while it was expected that investors would look at the country’s overall investment grade, he did not see it causing them to hold back.

“Certainly they will look at the investment grade, that is only natural and I am not naive to that, but I would like to think that it is not only what the investment says, it is what the Government of the country is doing,” he said.

The Acting Prime Minister said he was satisfied that Government had been creating the enabling environment for investment in the sector, though he was not prepared to dismiss the downgrade out of hand.

“The Government has done its part. There are some other things that we have to do and I am certain that on this track, within the fullness of time, we will start to see the rating agencies looking at us differently. I am not going to say we should ignore it, but at the same time I think that if you look at the total picture, tourism can still continue to meet and surpass its targets in the face of what the rating agencies might be saying,” he said.

Though dissatisfied with the performance of the economy as a whole, S&P said on Wednesday that it expected Barbados’ tourism product to continue to perform well this year, after contributing to economic growth and a reduction of the deficit last year.

“Strong flows of tourists and the expansion of the Sandals hotel helped Barbados to grow two per cent in real terms during 2016, the highest rate of growth posted since 2009. This contributed to an improved economic assessment,” S&P said.

However, the international ratings agency pointed out that “historical growth has been below that of peers with a similar level of economic development.”

It also warned that growth was being held back “by recurrent tourism project delays, higher taxes, low private-sector confidence and consumption, and a significant level of red tape, which weakens Barbados’ overall economic profile”.

21 Responses to No ignoring S&P

  1. John Everatt September 29, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    I wonder if it has occurred to Mr. Sealy that S&P would have solid reasons for this latest downgrade. He seems to be trying to put a spin on this in the same manner that government has put a spin on each of the 20 downgrades. That line is that we are on the right track and all will be well soon. Well, we have heard this line for a long time now and none of it has been true.

  2. Epaphras D. Williams
    Epaphras D. Williams September 30, 2017 at 3:57 am

    The University of the West Indies doesn’t produce global thinkers. 99% of politicians and industry leaders are graduates, yet here we… stuck. Get back to basics, we were better of then.

  3. Sandy Perkins
    Sandy Perkins September 30, 2017 at 6:02 am

    He annoys me.

  4. Susan Maynard
    Susan Maynard September 30, 2017 at 6:46 am

    U shall tell your parties to low the taxies.

  5. Harry September 30, 2017 at 7:08 am

    This same person was only last week saying “that we are on the right track” when commenting on the Island’s economic performance, really Mr. Sealy ? he and the others haven’t got a clue what to do.

  6. Errol Rayside
    Errol Rayside September 30, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Don’t blame me

  7. Christopher Hill
    Christopher Hill September 30, 2017 at 8:06 am

    When did you say the election is going to be.

  8. Johnathan September 30, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Elections are not in their interest was it a appears from all the fall outs they expect to be voted out. Although it is in the country’s best interest for them to seek a new mandate and them go to the internationa agencies theey will just hold on in their interest. The country never mattered to DEM only their guts..

  9. Santini More
    Santini More September 30, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Did it really require 20 downgrades before you realised the dire consequences these downgrades have on our country?

  10. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd September 30, 2017 at 8:41 am


  11. Alex Alleyne September 30, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Are you speaking “on behalf of the Government ” , or this is just “SELF”.

  12. Mark King
    Mark King September 30, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Look how he rocking back wid the mic in hand .lol pompus

  13. Waiting September 30, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Government Parliamentarians tell me truthfully, what do you truly say to each other when you have your cabinet meetings? For you all to be frank and still stick together while you sink the country do not speak well of your leadership. How can Barbadian politicians in good conscience allow this state of affairs to linger so long? We are better than that. Your “right track” is going in the opposite direction. Someone, please step off and tell it like it is.

  14. Nicholas Mackie
    Nicholas Mackie September 30, 2017 at 9:20 am

    This winter is going to be our best in recorded history ! I upgrade Barbados FX will flow into this country by the Millions

  15. Tony Webster September 30, 2017 at 10:22 am

    The Honourable gentleman’s comments require a little fast-forwarded translation. Try this..”.Speaking on this beautiful April morning , 2018, and as one of the few who has been spared and returned to Parliament, (By Grace Of God and Other Strange Things) ….and as the one who represents die-hard D.L.P. supporters, I commit myself and my three colleagues to fighting every inch of the way, for the best possible final deal, in the current conversations in which the administration is engaged with the I.M.F. Yes, Tourism, which I have the honour to shadow, will continue to be my top priority! ” as it happens , I am later having coffee at Sandals, and Chinese Dim Sum at Sam Lords and will lots of interesting conversations with my friends” .

    Yes, I recommend to all thinking citizens to re-read a few dusty books, like (1) Alice in Wonderland, (2) Anansi stories.and (3) Animal Farm. Plus your N.I.V. Bible, or course

  16. Nicholas Mackie
    Nicholas Mackie September 30, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Death by 1,000 cuts , if the first 100 cuts didn’t kill you the other 900 won’t !

  17. Ossie Moore September 30, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Webster it look like we going watch de match down in Russia Gully! Lawd mek peace!

  18. hcalndre September 30, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Why is the acting PM is not saying that the downgrades do not worry him like the PM Stuart said. Sealy may get replace the next time the PM have to go on his vacation.

  19. BIGSKY September 30, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    You said the Government has done its part and I think that this is what landed us where we are today.I am awaiting now the XYZ rating, seeing that S&P is running out of acronyms.

  20. Belfast September 30, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    A cubba standing in for another cubba.


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