Barbados to hold general elections on Feb. 21

BRIDGETOWN, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Barbados will hold general elections on Feb. 21, the country's prime minister announced as he grapples with slumping popularity over his handling of the Caribbean island's economy.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of the ruling Democratic Labour Party will seek his first full term in office in the vote in the former British colony.

Stuart announced the new election date late on Tuesday.

A former attorney general, Stuart was appointed prime minister in October 2010 following the death of his predecessor, David Thompson.

New elections were scheduled to be held this year on the island, which won independence in 1966 and has overcome the decline of its once-powerful sugar industry to grow relatively wealthy through high-end tourism and offshore financial services.

However, the economy of Barbados, the easternmost Caribbean island with a population of 286,000, has struggled in recent years and last year expanded by 0.7 percent. (Reporting by Robert Edison Sandiford; editing by Kevin Gray and Matthew Lewis)