IMF predicts 5.5% growth for the Antigua and Barbuda economy in 2023


SOURCE: IMF – An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team, led by Ms. Emine Boz, visited Antigua and Barbuda during June 19–23, 2023 and met government officials and other counterparts to discuss recent economic developments, economic outlook, and policy priorities.

At the conclusion of the visit, Ms. Boz issued the following statement:

Economic activity is on a solid recovery path after a sharp decline during the pandemic.

Growth is projected at 7.8 and 5.5 percent for 2022 and 2023, respectively, on the back of robust tourism and construction activity.

The number of stayover tourists bounced back, reaching 98 percent of pre-pandemic levels during the first four months of 2023, with arrivals from the U.S. and U.K. taking the lead.

Accordingly, real GDP is expected to recover to its pre-pandemic level this year. After peaking at 9.2 percent at end-2022, inflation has since receded to 4.6 percent (year-on-year) by March 2023, partly driven by a decline in fuel prices.

The government’s efforts to boost revenues are helped by strong growth but the fiscal situation remains challenging with elevated debt and high financing needs. 

Preliminary budget outturn suggests a primary deficit of 1.4 percent of GDP for 2022. The deficit was smaller than that in 2021, but higher than projected by the authorities and the IMF staff in the 2022 Article IV Staff Report.

Public debt-to-GDP is estimated to have declined to 87 percent by end-2022 from 97 percent at end-2021 on the back of strong nominal GDP growth. Authorities should continue their efforts to streamline tax exemptions, strengthen tax compliance and administration, and improve public spending efficiency.

There are ongoing initiatives to enhance coordination across different social transfer programs and digitize information; these should be accompanied by efforts to broaden coverage and improve targeting and monitoring of the social safety net.

In addition, the authorities should work with domestic and external creditors to clear existing arrears and avoid the accumulation of new arrears.

Strong economic recovery combined with global food and fuel prices down from their highs last year, provides a window of opportunity to put public finances on a sustainable footing, while protecting the vulnerable.

The financial sector is stable and liquid, with non-performing loans declining gradually.

Bank credit to the private sector remains subdued, especially in relation to the growth in economic activity, reflecting a number of factors including a wait-and-see approach taken by potential borrowers and economic uncertainty.

Authorities should monitor the credit growth of credit unions and further strengthen supervision and regulation of the credit union sector.

The nonperforming loan ratios of commercial banks and credit unions modestly exceed the prudential level of 5 percent. Authorities should maintain strong loan loss provisioning, which is currently above the ECCB’s prudential level of 60 percent for both banks and credit unions.

The country faces increasing challenges from natural disasters and has a need to upskill workers.

 Authorities should continue resilience building efforts, creating sufficient buffers against natural disasters.

Transition to renewable energy is essential for reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering energy costs and should be accelerated.

The labor market recovery from the pandemic may not raise incomes of all, especially of vulnerable workers, and the efforts to upskill workers are critical for further reducing unemployment and facilitating mobility across sectors.

Authorities should continue to make progress in addressing data gaps, including the calculation of the rental component of the consumer price index and improvements in the compilation of national accounts data, which are essential to facilitate evidence-based policy making.








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  1. Clearly even the IMF data shows we have a good captain. We have essentailly recovered from the world (global economic / Great Lockdown) distaster since atleast world war 2. Compare this to what happened after the 2008 global recession where year after year, other than 2012, we saw deline. 2013 saw us back in negative growth teritory. When persons ask me why I support GB and his administration, one major reason is how he has handled our economy. 2022 saw 8 percent growth (7.8). Most likely 2023 will be even more than the conservative IMF estimate. Keep us the good work boss.

    • May I respectfully remind you @ Cornel Hughes that the IMF has made a PREDICTION.

      Here’s the dictionary definition:

      A PREDICTION is a forecast, and the pre means “before” and the diction has to do with talking. So a prediction is about the future – IT’S A GUESS!

      Furthermore @ Cornel, the IMF could also be totally wrong as well – GUESSWORK is not facts, NEVER has been and NEVER will be.

      Gaston Browne has made many PREDICTIONS during his tenure in office, and even you must admit Charles, the country is still awaiting this fruition.

      Which begs another question: How long is a piece of rope?

  2. Funny you are commenting on the IMF report, however when the Article IV report was adversarial to the government not one word was uttered by you decibels, not even to this day, even when there was a chorus to have it released!

    ECONOMICS 101: If there was 0 growth in year 0 then any year subsequent to that WILL ALWAYS SHOW GROWTH- even inflation results in growth, though in effect it is artificial. Where is the tangible evidence of this growth?
    No infrastructure on display, roads in a deplorable state, public servants cannot be paid nor receive their salary/wage increases, suppliers cannot be paid which in turn slows the economic wheel, the environment is in a dirty state, the poor getting poorer, people cannot even afford food, THE COUNTRY IS BROKE, and you better not be banking on the sale of the Alfa Nero, because those funds will not be yours!!
    I hope you will big up the IMF when your last resort will be to go back to them and lick your vomit like a dog. Antigua is in a mess. THE COUNTRY IS ROTTEN with crime because THINGS ROUGH- why do you think there is such a massive increase in crime? Because people do not have any money.
    In bright daylight a young man stole a woman’s handbag in the city with no where to run- This reeks of desperation because of the state of the economy.
    You keep pushing stats in peoples face like they mean money in peoples pockets.
    Maybe it’s time for the ministers including the PM to repay to the treasury all their ill-gotten gains and profits from self-enrichment. Even St Kitts has paid its residents a dividend from it’s CIP fund, and Antigua could not even as much as pay a MITE of stimulus to the nation- MIND YOU, ANTIGUA WAS THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD THAT DID NOT PAY THEIR POPULACE A COVID STIMULUS, and you come talking about growth- yeah right, the growth in the big pockets of Gaston and his minions like you.
    Please ask Mr Wickham to do a poll and he will let you know that Antiguans are so frustrated with this government that if an election was to be called tomorrow you guys would be GONERS!

  3. and build the church of Obeah to housed the “PREDICTIONS AND PROJECTIONS.”

  4. @Tenman I will make it easy for the readers to understand why you support GB aka Top Dawg. You are live off the tax payers, you are an economic prostitutes and a waste of brain fat. Antigua and Barbuda just needs one project like PLH, Barret/Robin, Calvin pumping money into the economy to get 5% growth. When you comment again let us know about the 35 failed project announced in our Parliament by the same world boss, tell us about the US$ 68 million from the Lazarenko fund that was ceased by Antigua. It is so sad that the people of Antigua and Barbuda continues to suffer in this economic power house with all this growth you speak about. Let me outline some of the suffering, Solid Waste none payment for months, something as cheap as toilet paper….ect the government can’t buy for the institutions like the hospital, in 2023 the people of Antigua and Barbuda still throwing up water and lining up to get water to bath, high debt, creditors can’t get paid. The only thing going for this government right now is the ALFA NERO money that they are waiting on to keep paying salaries and wages.New Social Security pensioners waiting for year to start getting their pension, pregnant mothers waiting for years to get their benefits, death benefits outstanding. I can continue with the long list of suffering but I don’t want the readers to start crying for the people of this economic poor house. Why I don’t support this failed experiment called GB he keeps the people in poverty and call it next level economic greed. The only reason this failed experiment still in office is because the level of dunceness in the country is so high it’s unbelievable. The economic prostitutes will continue to support this greed because they are benefiting, you guys will say to hell with the rest of the citizens I am good Top Dawg to the world.

    • @Red.. since you called me (tenman), you claimed the growth is easy, why then did Lovell fail to do it? Truth is he did the opposite. Again the only growth we saw under him was a little less than 3 percent in 2012. Man embraced policies like the requirement that persons bring a tax clearance cert which ended up negatively impacting our economy. Your below statement is telling:

      “The only reason this failed experiment still in office is because the level of dunceness in the country is so high it’s unbelievable. The economic prostitutes will continue to support this greed because they are benefiting, you guys will say to hell with the rest of the citizens I am good Top Dawg to the world.”

      Truly loser rhetoric: the people are only smart if they vote the way you like. Guy GB will have a a 4th term because people like you have no respect for your fellow citizens / residents. You keep hoping they will see blessings (expansion of existing schools, new secondary school, UWI landed campus in A&B, WIOC (first A&B company)now listed on the stock exchange, our indigenous banks now healthy, APUA now producing 3 times more RO water than it did before 2014, A&B recently lauded hence moved up a level due to its handling of human trafficking, Health sector improvements making us the best in the region…) as negatives. One thing I know, such thinking you pushing brings curses. As far as SS they make clear on their website all pensions have been paid for May 2023, contrary to the lies you wish to peddle.

  5. This government only release Imf report when it is somewhat favorable to them..
    When it’s unfavorable they do not release it..
    Isn’t that questionable and strange? And it’s deliberate the administration knows exactly what they doing..and btw I agree they try to keep a certain
    Populace illiterate and dunce..🤔

    • @Sandra Clarke you wrote :
      “This government only release Imf report when it is somewhat favorable to them..
      When it’s unfavorable they do not release it.. Isn’t that questionable and strange? I agree they try to keep a certain Populace illiterate and dunce..”

      Was it not you the other day saying you were headed to St Kitts because things are better there? Go to a quiet place, think. Now ask yourself was your statement not “dunce”? The same SKN you wish to move to in the past has made clear to the IMF due to disagreements with its finding, they do not wish to have the report shared with the public.

      ““It will do the country good, if Timothy Harris will release the last Article IV Consultation Report completed by a visiting IMF Mission headed by Dr Arnold Mc Intyre. see Douglas challenges PM Harris to release IMF report, reverse Land for Debt Swap By WIC News Reporter -3 July 2019. This (A&B) is a government that invested millions in not only our primary and secondary school but also tertiary education.

      • … and don’t worry yourself about anything that tenman writes, because he’s being fed government information to try to keep us quiet.


  6. I am a educated, fair and balance observer of certain observations, btw I am neither red nor what you would consider independent..I’m not drinking any red kool-aid according to history the Last set of people who drank kool-aid
    perished in the jungle of Guyana
    Be careful red ites you don’t want to end up the same way..
    Be forewarned!!
    And btw tenman I still moving to st.kitts at least I’ll get some dividends from Cip program there..
    What have we gotten in antigua? hmm 😒

  7. It is better to be silent than to argue with ignorant people. They will persist in their ignorance and beat you down with it.

  8. @Tenman, is a waste of intellectual reason and thought. Greed is a deadly taskmaster. We saw people selling their souls for a dollar without regards for humanity during covid. We read a book in High School called, “Shalow’s Strange Bargain,” and the political, cool aid drinking Labourites are reminiscent of him.
    The IMF reports are predictions, and are often not reflective of reality. Did they not release some information a short time ago suggesting that the price of flour is being kept low to reduce the cost of flour related products? Check the price of flour folks, tell me if that is true.
    As a Mathematician, I can tell you that percentages are extremely misleading.

    • Preach boss, preach!

      The acolytes will sacrifice their devilish souls at the alter of Gaston Browne before putting the COUNTRY first!



    • @Waching why show youself a lair or a fool? Why would the IMF be predicting 2022 when we are now in 2023? Their statement on 2022 is not a prediction since they have the actuals. For 2023 there woiuld be some level of projection since there are still a few months left with no actual data. As far as flour, they spoke about governments actions to lower the taxes on flour, in orderr to help to prevent an increase in bread prices. While in SLU the price of bread increased in Jan 2023, it is yet to happen in Antigua since 2017.


    • @Black man – I see you as usual reverting to personal attacks because you can’t handle the message. Amazing your need for the negative and blindness when it comes to the possitives.. You remind of the old (bible)story of that lady who out of bitterness wanted to see the baby cut in half. A&B moving forward no matter your bitterness (Says IMF).

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