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Antigua and Barbuda - Updating economic note (Английский)

The economy advanced rapidly in recent years on the strength of a buoyant tourism sector and related construction. Annual growth exceeded 7 during 1983 to 1986. Prospects for continued strong tourism growth in the near term raise issues of intensification of labor shortages throughout the economy. The Government might consider liberalizing its policies on immigrant labor. Sectoral issues relate to the adequacy of airline seats commensurate with the growth in tourist accommodation, the ability of manufacturing firms to penetrate extra-regional markets,and the need to develop commercial scale operations in agriculture. Fiscal performance, which improved in 1985 and 1986, deteriorated in 1987. Debt management continues to be problematic. To bring the external debt situation under control and strengthen the public finances, the authorities should conclude successfully the debt discussions begun in 1987; adopt an active program of divestment of government hotel assets; strictly control government expenditures; appropriately increase tariffs of the public utilities; and refrain from contracting new debt on commercial terms until the debt servicing capacity has considerably improved.

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