The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has forecast that Antigua and Barbuda will see a 9.4 percent increase in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this year.
In 2022,Antigua and Barbuda is said to have experienced an impressive 8.5 per cent rate of growth.
“The average rate of growth for the three-year period, since the severe blows we received from the COVID-19 pandemic, will be an unprecedented 8.2 per cent per annum,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne revealed in his budget speech on Thursday.
He noted that “this performance was achieved notwithstanding the closure of Jolly Beach, Halcyon and Sugar Ridge hotels for most of this three-year period.”
And to further show how much the country’s fiscal position was further improved Browne shared preliminary data for the end of 2022.
He said: “After widening to 6.4 per cent of GDP in 2020, the overall fiscal deficit narrowed to 4.5 per cent in 2021. Similarly, the primary deficit, which was 3.8 per cent of GDP in 2020, was contained at 2 per cent of GDP in 2021.”
For 2022, “the overall deficit narrowed to 3.6 per cent and the primary deficit to 1 per cent of GDP” which Browne attributed to “stronger revenue performance in 2022, due to our government’s policies, particularly in tourism construction and housing.”
Globally, forecasts for 2023 indicate that the rate of growth of the global economy will decline further to 2.9 per cent.
Similarly, economic growth in the Latin America and Caribbean region is expected to decline to 1.8 per cent this year, a fall from 3.9 per cent last year.
The economy of the United States of America – our largest trading partner – is forecast to grow by just 1.4 per cent, and the United Kingdom’s economy will shrink by 0.6 per cent.