Latest News

The government shutdown cost the economy $11 billion, including a permanent $3 billion loss, Congressional Budget Office says Published: 29 January 2019

  • The federal government shutdown cost the economy $11 billion, according to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.


  • Although most of the damage to the economy will be reversed as federal workers return to their jobs, the CBO estimated $3 billion in economic activity is permanently lost.


  • Overall, the CBO projected economic growth will slow this year to 2.3 percent, compared with the 3.1 percent rate last year, as the benefits of the new tax law begin to fade.


(Source: CNBC)

Accommodative Monetary Policy in Jamaica Will Support Growth In 2019 Published: 23 January 2019

  • Fitch anticipates that the Bank of Jamaica will maintain an accommodative monetary policy stance through H119, supporting investment and growth.


  • Additionally, the rating agency presumes that rising inflation expectations amid rising fuel import costs will likely prompt rate hikes in H219. They forecast interest rates to rise to 2.25%, from 1.75%, by end-2019.   


(Source: Fitch

Government of Barbados Focused on doing business better Published: 23 January 2019

  • The Government of Barbados is on a mission to improve this country’s ranking on the Doing Business record in an effort to attract more investment.


  • Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment Marsha Caddle announced yesterday that a Doing Business subcommittee is to be established which will work closely with a Competitiveness Council to ensure Barbados climbed the Doing Business ranks and measure up more favorably among the best.


  • Barbados was ranked 129th out of 190 countries in the 2018 Ease of Doing Business Report, a slight improvement over the 132nd position in 2017.

(Source: Barbados Today)

US cancels trade planning meeting with China, source says Published: 23 January 2019

  • The White House has rejected a trade planning meeting with China this week due to outstanding disagreements over intellectual property rules.


  • Should Beijing and Washington fail to agree on a permanent solution by March 1, President Donald Trump has said he will reinforce punitive tariffs.


  • The White House tells CNBC that "the teams remain in touch in preparation for high-level talks with Vice Premier Liu He at the end of this month."

(Source: CNBC)

Downside Risks To Global Growth Published: 23 January 2019

  • Fitch’s growth forecasts for the global economy remain unchanged from last month, and they continue to anticipate a 'synchronized slowdown’ in real GDP to 3.0% in 2019 from their estimate of 3.4% in 2018.


  • The major risk is that fragile markets feed through into weaker economic fundamentals, posing substantial downside risks to our global growth and monetary policy forecasts.

(Source:  Fitch)

Unemployment Continues Downward Trajectory Published: 22 January 2019


  • In October 2018, the unemployment rate was 8.7 percent which represents a reduction of 180 bps relative to the  10.5 percent recorded in October 2017.


  • The largest change in employment by industry group was in ‘Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities’ which increased by 9,700 persons, (11.9%) moving from 81,700 in October 2017 to 91,400 in October 2018.


  • The increase in employment for females was more than twice that of males, the number of employed males increased by 4,300 to 672,400 and employed females by 10,100 to 547,300.


  • It must also be noted that there was a reduction in the number of unemployed persons and a simultaneous decline in the labor force. 


(Source: STATIN Press Release)

Iron Rock Makes Small Profit in UN-audited Year End Results Published: 22 January 2019

  • The company earned profits that amounted to $0.8Mn (EPS: $0.00) in the 12 months ending December 2018, which is a significant improvement over the prior year loss of $47.8Mn (EPS: $0.22) in 2017.


  • Management credits the results to the strong performance of the insurance portfolio, as evidenced by the improvement in profit commissions and very low loss ratios in its motor and liability classes.


  • The stock appreciated by 73% in 2018 and has remained unchanged at $4.90 since the beginning of 2019.


(Source: Unaudited Year-End Financial Statements)

GHL independents approve NCB offer Published: 22 January 2019

  • Independent directors of Westmoorings-based insurance company, Guardian Holdings Limited (GHL), have recommended that all GHL shareholders accept NCB Financial Group’s (NCB) offer of US$2.79 per share takeover bid.


  • It is the considered view of the board that acquisition of a controlling interest in GHL by NCB will confer on GHL a number of benefits,” the board stated.


  • It also said NCB was a major, profitable, fast-growing and forward-looking Caribbean financial institution, whose shares are listed on the Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchanges.


(Source: Trinidad Express

IMF Chair Christine Lagarde Cuts global growth forecast for 2019 to 3.5% Published: 22 January 2019

  • IMF Chair Christine Lagarde cuts global growth forecast for 2019 to 3.5% from 3.7%.


  • Speaking at the world economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, she said the move was due to the high level of economic risks that are accelerating around the globe


  • These include the US/China trade war, Brexit and China’s slowing economy.


(Source: CNBC)

Oil Prices Slump Published: 22 January 2019


  • In commodities, oil prices fell more than 1% as pessimism about world growth stoked concerns over future crude demand.


  • S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 70 cents, or about 1.3%, at $53.34 a barrel, while International Brent crude oil futures were at $61.87 per barrel, down 87 cents, or around 1.4%.


  • Weekly data on U.S. crude supplies from the American Petroleum Institute will be delayed to Wednesday, one day later than usual, due to Monday's holiday.