Antigua and Barbuda
2007 Article IV Consultation-Staff Report; Public Information Notice on the Executive Board Discussion; and Statement by the Authorities of Antigua and Barbuda

This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that macroeconomic outcomes for Antigua and Barbuda have strengthened significantly in recent years. Real GDP growth averaged 5 percent during 2003–05, and is estimated to have reached 12 percent in 2006. There has been progress in implementing broad structural reforms. On fiscal issues, the authorities intend to enhance revenue performance, including the introduction of a more flexible mechanism for retail fuel pricing in 2008. They also intend to improve the investment climate, reduce skill mismatches, exports, and deregulate telecommunications.

Abstract

This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that macroeconomic outcomes for Antigua and Barbuda have strengthened significantly in recent years. Real GDP growth averaged 5 percent during 2003–05, and is estimated to have reached 12 percent in 2006. There has been progress in implementing broad structural reforms. On fiscal issues, the authorities intend to enhance revenue performance, including the introduction of a more flexible mechanism for retail fuel pricing in 2008. They also intend to improve the investment climate, reduce skill mismatches, exports, and deregulate telecommunications.

I. Background1

1. Antigua and Barbuda has enjoyed impressive growth in recent years. Following a relatively weak performance in the 1990s and again in 2001–03, growth has accelerated, reaching over 12 percent in 2006. Recent growth has been driven mainly by construction activity associated with the Cricket World Cup (CWC). Official data indicate that inflation has remained low, although their quality is weak and concerns have arisen recently about the impact of external price shocks.

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Antigua and Barbuda: Real Growth Experience, 1980–2006 1/

(Annual real GDP growth, 3-year moving average)

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2008, 225; 10.5089/9781451801903.002.A001

Sources: Antigua and Barbuda authorities; and Fund staff estimates.1/ Vertical lines represent years of natural disaster, except for 2001, which represents the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.

2. Despite the rebound in economic activity, fiscal imbalances have remained large, reflecting a number of one-off expenditures in 2006–07 (Box 1). Tax revenues have increased significantly, buoyed by the upturn in economic activity as well as the Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax (ABST) introduced in January 2007. But spending has also surged, largely reflecting the effects of the CWC and one-time costs associated with the voluntary separation program for public employees. As a result, the primary deficit is expected to narrow only slightly to about 3¼ percent of GDP in 2007. Public debt, which fell from a peak of 143 percent of GDP in 2002 to 107 percent in 2006, has remained broadly stable during 2007. Notwithstanding the fiscal imbalances, the authorities have continued to rollover debt on the regional government securities market at relatively low rates.

3. Broad money growth has strengthened in recent years. Monetary growth accelerated in 2006, reflecting strong economic activity. In 2007, credit growth is expected to remain strong, in line with estimated nominal GDP growth.

4. Locally incorporated banks continue to face balance-sheet challenges. These include high ratios of nonperforming loans (NPLs), low provisioning levels, and significant government exposures. Competition in mortgage lending, including from insurance companies, has lowered mortgage rates from 10–11 percent in 2004–05 to around 8 percent in 2007, compressing spreads.

5. The external current account deficit has widened in recent years. The deficit increased to 16 percent of GDP in 2006, reflecting imports associated with the construction boom. It is expected to rise further in 2007, but will be financed almost entirely by foreign direct investment.

II. Economic Outlook and Risks

6. The growth outlook is favorable, although vulnerabilities remain. Growth is expected to moderate to about 6 percent in 2007, reflecting the unwinding of the construction boom, although there are signs that investment may be slowing less rapidly than earlier envisaged. While growth in 2008 is projected to decline further as investment returns to more normal levels and the global economy slows, a recession is not expected. Medium-term growth is expected to remain close to 5 percent—within historical norms—assuming there is no sustained deterioration in the external outlook, including external financing conditions. Price developments are difficult to assess due to lack of reliable data, but inflation is expected to remain contained in the context of the regional currency board, with the pickup in 2008 reflecting higher oil prices.

Antigua and Barbuda: Selected Economic Indicators, 2004–09

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Sources: Antigua and Barbuda authorities; and Fund staff estimates.

The sharp decline in 2005 is due to a change in the data source.

The figure for 2006 is up to August.

7. The outlook will continue to depend on exogenous factors as well as domestic policy responses. Antigua and Barbuda remains vulnerable to external shocks, given its dependence on imported oil, volatile tourism receipts, and exposure to natural disasters. The turmoil in international financial markets and higher world oil prices could have an adverse impact on global growth, which could, in turn, weaken prospects for Antigua and Barbuda. On the domestic front, the fiscal outlook will depend on the ability of the government to stay the course with tax reforms—and indeed strengthen implementation over the medium term—while resisting spending pressures and further rationalizing the size and operations of the civil service.

III. Policy Discussions

8. Discussions focused on achieving a significant improvement in fiscal balances, placing the public debt on a sustainable path and accelerating structural reforms to sustain growth and boost competitiveness. The authorities are firmly pursuing their fiscal and structural reform agenda, along with efforts to enhance public awareness of the rationale and benefits of the government’s program. Following introduction of the ABST and a market-valuation-based property tax system, discussions focused on strengthening tax administration and collection. On the expenditure front, although some measures have already been taken (including the new Financial Administration Act and the partial rollout of the FreeBalance software), much more remains to be done to effectively contain public spending and rein in the accumulation of arrears.

A. Restoring Fiscal Sustainability

9. Achieving a primary fiscal surplus in 2008 is a key challenge. According to the authorities, the limited progress to date in improving fiscal positions was partly due to delays in enacting reforms, weaknesses in tax administration, and temporary expenditure spikes. The mission emphasized the need to show significant progress in fiscal consolidation in 2008, based on the measures already implemented. The authorities agreed with staff that, as one-off expenditure increases in 2006–07 are phased out (mainly the voluntary separation program and CWC-related capital spending), such an outcome is achievable if the government firmly controls spending and stays the course with tax reforms.

10. Staff encouraged the authorities to adopt a formal budget proposal for 2008 that is consistent with these objectives. In the event, the authorities presented a 2008 budget to Parliament on December 3, 2007 that envisages a primary surplus of 0.7 percent of GDP, consistent with the near-term objectives discussed during the mission. Expenditure is budgeted to remain sizable, mainly in social and capital spending, financed by grants from the PetroCaribe Agreement with Venezuela (Box 2).

11. Current policies would be consistent with a small primary surplus over the medium term, but this would not allow a significant reduction in the debt-to-GDP ratio. Staff projections show that the medium-term primary balance would remain below 1 percent of GDP under current policies, which assume: existing tax rates; a slight decline in public investment to 4 percent of GDP; modest growth in public employment of 2½ percent per year; and real public sector wage increases of 2 percent per year. Under this scenario, debt would remain stable relative to GDP and far above the authorities’ objective of reducing public debt to less than60 percent of GDP in 2020, consistent with the ECCB benchmark. While fiscal gaps could be filled via domestic and regional sources as well as a possible debt strategy, their significant size may create pressures for further financing through arrears. The less favorable debt paths illustrate the vulnerability of the economy to exogenous shocks, particularly naturaldisasters.2

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Antigua and Barbuda: Debt Sustainability Analysis—Stress Tests

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2008, 225; 10.5089/9781451801903.002.A001

Source: Fund staff calculations.

12. The mission emphasized that, in the medium term, additional measures a needed to achieve public debt sustainability. To achieve the ECCB benchmark, a primary surplus of around 4 percent of GDP would be required. The mission suggested a mix of revenue and spending measures, including:

Antigua and Barbuda: Yield from Additional Measures Under the Active Scenario

(In percent of GDP)

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Source: Fund staff projections.
  • VAT (ABST) reform. The mission welcomed implementation of the VAT, with registrations exceeding initial expectations and strong revenues likely reflecting a large informal economy that was previously untapped. The staff expressed concerns, however, about differential rates (the VAT rate for hotels is 10 percent, compared with 15 percent for other sectors)3 and low filing rates. In addition, the compliance rate in Antigua and Barbuda is about 70 percent, compared with about 85 percent elsewhere in the region. The mission recommended strengthening tax and customs administration and moving to a uniform VAT rate of 15 percent in 2009, including on hotels. These measures are projected to raise tax revenues to about 24 percent of GDP by 2012 (close to the ECCU average). In line with staff’s recommendations, the authorities announced in the 2008 Budget Speech their intention to strengthen the administration of the ABST.

  • Property tax reform. Although the real estate sector has boomed in recent years, tax on property continues to underperform. The mission welcomed the move to a market-valuation-based property tax system in 2007 and the ongoing cadastral surveys as important first steps toward strengthening tax collection.

  • Domestic oil pricing. While the 40 percent increase in gasoline prices in late 2005 helped restore effective tax levels, there have been no subsequent adjustments, and the budget remains vulnerable to fluctuations in world oil prices. The mission welcomed the authorities’ intention to move to a full pass-through system as announced in the 2007 Budget Speech, and recommended that they do so in the context of a regional initiative. In the 2008 Budget Speech, the authorities announced their intention to develop a framework for quarterly price adjustments in 2008.

  • Public expenditure management. The mission emphasized the need to promote efficiency, accountability and transparency in government financial operations. While the Free balance software has been installed in most ministries, it is critical that the required IT support be put in place to strengthen central monitoring and control of expenditure. This should also minimize further arrears with suppliers. Regarding relations with other public sector entities, the mission recommended that the government establish a transparent and commercial basis for dealing with the public utility company (APUA), including full payment for all utility services received.

  • Civil service reform. The recent voluntary separation program should help contain the wage bill. However, skill shortages have emerged in certain areas, for instance in the Internal Revenue Department. The mission recommended that future retrenchment programs be targeted at areas where changing needs have made staff redundant, while redirecting resources to more productive uses. In addition, the authorities noted that rigidities in public sector employment practices inhibited the hiring and retention of qualified staff in key areas and that greater flexibility is needed to build the capacity to formulate and implement policies effectively.

Antigua and Barbuda: Size of the General Government, 2005

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Sources: World Economic Outlook; International Financial Statistics; Government Financial Statistics; and Fund staff estimates.

Data for central government.

Employment data as of 2002.

Employment data as of 2004.

Employment data includes government public service and statutory boards.

Government wage data as of 2004.

B. Debt Strategy

13. The authorities are committed to strengthening debt management and normalizing relations with creditors. They have started the second phase of the debt strategy with the assistance of international financial advisors. While the ultimate objective is to normalize relationships with all creditors, the immediate focus is on resolving disputed claims, regularizing arrears to statutory bodies, and preventing further accumulation of arrears. The mission supported this approach, and recommended that, if a more comprehensive restructuring is undertaken, the authorities should engage all creditors in an open and collaborative dialogue and assure the stability of the domestic financial and social security systems. A contingency plan should be designed to address a possible sudden lack of access to regional financial markets. The capacity of the debt management unit should be strengthened, as there could be scope for reducing overall debt costs within a prudent and transparent debt management framework.

14. Even with debt restructuring, substantial fiscal effort will be needed to achieve fiscal sustainability. The mission noted that even with some write-off of existing debt, a strong fiscal effort would still be needed to place public debt on a sustainable path and increase the likelihood that investors would be willing to participate in future debt restructuring. The authorities generally concurred with these views, and reiterated their commitment to regularize arrears to statutory bodies and normalize relations with creditors in the framework of a medium-term debt strategy.

15. PetroCaribe. The PetroCaribe Agreement with Venezuela could provide significant budgetary support. The mission commended the innovative and transparent measures that had been taken to separate out the grant from the loan element of the program, while underscoring the need to ensure that PetroCaribe funds are linked to social development programs in the budget, consistent with overall fiscal objectives.

C. Addressing Contingent Risks

16. Coverage of fiscal accounts. A comprehensive assessment of Antigua and Barbuda’s public finances should include not only the central government, but also the broader public sector. The weakness of data on public sector activities hinders a full assessment of the fiscal position, including contingent risks to the central government. The mission underscored the need to fully implement the regulations associated with the new Financial Administration Act, which will allow the government to better monitor and control all public accounts.

17. Pension reform. The Social Security System (SSS) is running down its liquid assets owing to a cash deficit, reflecting the absence of government contributions to pay for the social security benefits of its employees. The authorities announced in the 2008 Budget Speech their intention to make these contributions. In addition, the government’s debt to the system needs to be regularized, including from past unpaid contributions. Even with these actions, the longer-term prospects for the system are a cause for concern. The mission welcomes the ongoing actuarial review, and hopes that its findings will provide the basis for timely reform actions to forestall the need for more drastic adjustments down the road. Equally important is the need to reform civil service pensions, which currently are noncontributory and unfunded, implying a large medium-term fiscal burden.

D. Enhancing Medium-Term Growth

18. Medium-term growth prospects are broadly favorable, but need to be supported by structural reforms. The unwinding of construction activity to more normal levels strengthens the case for accelerating structural reforms so as to allow the private sector to take full advantage of the increase in hotel capacity created in recent years.

  • Improving the investment climate. Delays in clearing goods at customs have been identified as a major impediment to economic growth. The mission welcomed the ongoing Customs Renewal Program, which is expected to substantially reduce the process for clearing goods, thereby lowering the cost of doing business. Discussions also focused on labor market reforms, including training to reduce skills mismatches, and easing of labor market regulations. The authorities indicated that the Investment Authority, established in 2006, serves as a one-stop center for all prospective investors and that the USAID, through its Caribbean Open Trade Support (COTS), has been supportive of private sector development and works closely with the business community in identifying weaknesses in the investment environment.

  • Export diversification. The offshore financial sector remains a possible area for diversification and job creation, notwithstanding the trade dispute with the U.S. in the internet gaming sector. The mission welcomed the authorities’ efforts to expand the variety of services offered by the offshore sector, and encouraged them to continue strengthening offshore financial sector regulations.

  • Telecommunications deregulation. The authorities recognized that telecommunications deregulation has been a catalytic source of growth in many countries, and concurred with staff that pursuit of this objective in Antigua and Barbuda is particularly important to reduce business costs and facilitate economic diversification.

E. External Competitiveness

19 The real exchange rate does not appear to be out of line with fundamentals The CPI-based real effective exchange rate (REER) and the customer-weighted REER (which tracks REER movements relative to main tourism customers) have been depreciating since 2002 with the weakening of the U.S. dollar. In addition, the erosion of the Antiguan share of tourist arrivals in ECCU and the Caribbean has been partially reversed (Figure 4). Estimating a long-term relationship between REER and a set of fundamentals suggests that the current level of REER is close to its equilibrium value.4 However, given the high level of public debt, substantial fiscal adjustment—as envisaged under the “active” policy scenario—will be necessary to underpin the stability of the regional currency board arrangement.

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Antigua and Barbuda: Actual and Equilibrium REER, 1979–2006

(Index 2000=100)1/

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2008, 225; 10.5089/9781451801903.002.A001

Source: IMF, Information Notice System; and Pineda and Cashin, “Assessing Exchange Rate Competitiveness in the ECCU,” Chapter I of ECCU: 2007 Selected Issues, SM/08/10.1/ The shaded band around the equilibrium exchange rate represents ±1 standard error of the prediction.

20. Sustaining competitiveness in the medium term depends on upgrading the capacity of the tourism sector. The depreciation of the effective exchange rate has improved the attractiveness of Antigua and Barbuda as a tourist destination and helped to reverse the declining trend in its share of tourist arrivals in the Caribbean region. The mission stressed, however, that success in sustaining competitiveness will depend on upgrading the productive capacity of the tourism sector. The authorities expect that the ongoing improvements in hotel capacity (which has increased by about 20 percent since 2005) and infrastructure, along with greater airport capacity and increased promotional efforts, would help boost tourism outcomes.

F. Financial Sector Vulnerabilities

21. Strong credit growth calls for close monitoring of financial sector soundness.5 In light of the rapid growth in private sector credit, the mission recommended frequent assessments of credit quality and risk management, particularly through on-site examinations by the ECCB. Discussions also focused on careful monitoring of short-term liabilities in regional capital markets with a view to limiting potential roll-over risks and ensuring that AML/CFT measures in the offshore financial sector are effectively enforced. The authorities indicated that the ECCB has carried out on-site supervision of commercial banks in 2007 and that they are awaiting the report.

22. Enhanced regulation of insurance companies and credit unions is also a priority. The mission commended the authorities for drafting prudential regulations for the supervision of the nonbank sector, and urged that these regulations be passed and enforced promptly to allow the effective supervision of all nonbank financial intermediaries. The mission stressed that, as the nonbank sector grows in importance, it is critical that a build-up of vulnerabilities be avoided.

G. Data Issues

23. Improvements in all areas of statistical systems and data dissemination are needed to facilitate surveillance, policymaking and public debate. The authorities concurred with the mission that data deficiencies, in particular weaknesses in the collection and dissemination of CPI data, compromise the quality of policy analysis and design.

IV. Staff Appraisal

24. Antigua and Barbuda’s economy has performed well in recent years. Growth soared during 2006–07, led by booming construction activity, both public and private. Inflation appears to have remained relatively low, and current account deficits have been largely financed by FDI. Market confidence in government policies has enabled access to financing from the regional securities market at reasonable rates.

25. Recent tax measures appear to be working well. Key measures have been taken to address Antigua and Barbuda’s longstanding fiscal problems. In particular, important and broad-based tax reforms have been implemented—most recently the ABST in January 2007—and the revenue gains from these measures are materializing. The priority now is to implement the tax measures in a uniform and transparent manner (including unifying the VAT rate across sectors, and raising tax compliance to levels observed elsewhere in the region), underpinning the perception that they are fairly designed and administered.

26. Looking ahead, 2008 will be an important year for the government to demonstrate fiscal strengthening in response to the measures taken. Firm expenditure restraint will be needed to complement actions taken on the revenue side. In particular, it will be important to ensure that spikes in investment and transfer spending in 2006–07 are reversed, and that firm restraint is exercised on other components of spending. The risks to the budget from fluctuations in world oil prices also need to be addressed by moving to a flexible mechanism for retail prices. This should allow the government to achieve a primary fiscal surplus in 2008.

27. Additional fiscal measures will be needed over the medium term to significantly reduce public debt. On the basis of measures already taken, the primary balance is projected to remain slightly positive over the medium term, while the debt-to-GDP ratio would remain well above the government’s longer-term objective. Additional fiscal adjustment—based on a mix of revenue enhancement and further expenditure restraint—will be needed to place the debt-to-GDP ratio securely on a downward path. Further downsizing of the public service can play an important role, but needs to be complemented by more flexible employment practices to enhance the government’s efficiency and capacity. The need for fiscal measures is underscored by Antigua and Barbuda’s vulnerability to exogenous shocks.

28. Although the recent growth outcome has been favorable, reforms to address persistent structural weaknesses would enhance medium-term prospects and reduce exposure to external shocks. Further reforms (including improving the investment climate, training to reduce skills mismatches, diversifying exports, and deregulating telecommunications) are needed to promote durable growth. Staff welcomes the authorities’ ongoing efforts to raise public awareness of the need and benefits of structural reforms.

29. Financial system vulnerabilities call for close monitoring. The ongoing credit boom could erode the quality of banking system assets, raising the importance of effective onsite and offsite inspections. In addition, rapid growth of the unregulated nonbank financial sector, in particular insurance companies and credit unions, is a growing concern. In this context, the authorities’ efforts to prepare legislation for unified supervision of nonbank financial institutions are well placed.

30. Economic and social statistics need to be upgraded. Data remain very weak in terms of coverage, timeliness, and reliability. Of particular importance for macroeconomic analysis are data on consumer prices, national accounts, tourism, labor markets, public enterprises, public sector debt and the balance of payments. The mission encourages the authorities to strengthen their capacity in these areas, and to seek complementary technical assistance from CARTAC, the CDB, and the Fund.

31. It is recommended that the next Article IV consultation take place on the standard 12-month cycle.

The Government’s Fiscal Objectives, Reforms, and Outcomes

Fiscal objectives. The United Progressive Party, which took office for the first time in 2004, adopted an ambitious reform agenda to address fiscal imbalances and high debt. The government’s fiscal targets were further elaborated in the 2006 Budget Speech, calling for: a current account surplus of 4 percent of GDP; an overall deficit of less than 3 percent of GDP in five years; and public debt of less than 60 percent of GDP by 2016. The time frame for the latter target has subsequently been extended to 2020, consistent with the objective set by the ECCB’s Monetary Council in July 2006.

Progress in reforms. Progress has been made in implementing tax reforms and reducing the wage bill.

  • Key tax reforms. (i) the personal income tax was reintroduced in April 2005; (ii) discretionary tax concessions were suspended in late 2005; (iii) a market-valuation-based property tax system was introduced in 2007; and (iv) a VAT was implemented in January 2007.

  • Voluntary civil service separation. The program received over 1,000 applicants (10 percent of civil service employment). Actual separations are expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2008.

  • Public expenditure reform. The Finance Administration Act was passed by Parliament in November 2006, and implementation began with the 2008 budget. Technical assistance is being provided by CARTAC in cash and expenditure management.

  • Social security reform. Key issues and options were discussed at a public symposium in July 2006 and a White Paper was published in late 2006. There is no timetable for the next steps, however.

  • Outcomes. Despite these reforms, the primary fiscal deficit deteriorated from 1¼ percent of GDP in 2004 to almost 4½ percent of GDP in 2006, reflecting a number of factors:

  • Implementation of the tax reform package (VAT and property tax) was delayed due to capacity constraints, implying that its full effect will not be realized until 2008; the excise tax—initially estimated to yield about 1 percent of GDP—was not implemented, and is temporarily off the table as a policy measure.

  • Tax yields were affected by generous tax exemptions (under the property tax, corporate income tax and also VAT) to investment projects associated with the 2007 CWC.

  • Revenue performance continues to be affected by weak tax compliance and enforcement. Customs procedures are inefficient, reflecting delays in the anticipated reform of the customs department.

  • Capital outlays and transfers to public enterprises sharply increased in 2006–07, largely reflecting upgrading of public infrastructure in relation to hosting the CWC.

  • Delays in implementing the civil service reform imply that the associated wage savings will not be fully realized until 2008.

PetroCaribe Agreement

Under the PetroCaribe agreement, Venezuela supplies refined oil products to Antigua and Barbuda on concessional terms. Venezuela delivers the products at market prices, but 40 percent of the value—if world prices are in the range of US$50–100 per barrel—is financed at a 1 percent interest rate over 25 years.1

PDV Caribe, a government-owned corporation, handles all operations under PetroCaribe, and implements the authorities’ guidance regarding allocating the grant element. To cover the future debt obligations to Venezuela, PDV Caribe invests in zero-coupon deposits that have the same present value as the debt obligations. At current interest rates—around 7 percent—the grant element is about 50 percent of concessional financing.

To avoid excessive dependence on a single oil supplier, the authorities limit shipments from Venezuela to about one half of total consumption. With imports of oil products amounting to about 10 percent of GDP at recent world prices, the Venezuela component is about 5 percent of GDP. With 40 percent of the latter value being concessional, and an implicit grant element of 50 percent, net resources from PetroCaribe could amount to about 1 percent of GDP per year.

The authorities indicated that they intend to spend the grant element on social projects, consistent with the PetroCaribe Agreement. At the time of discussions, the authorities were searching for appropriate projects, and the extent to which resources from PetroCaribe would generate new projects or support existing ones was not clear. The mission pointed to the need for careful planning in order to minimize the potential impact on the budget in case of an unexpected termination of the agreement

Despite the innovative and transparent vehicle that has been designed for extracting the grant element, some risks remain:

  • Credit risk. To date, the zero-coupon instruments have been acquired from one local bank, implying a concentrated financial exposure. The authorities indicated that they intend to diversify these placements as the size of the funds increases, but pointed to the limited scope for this given thin regional financial markets.

  • Policy change risk. Although the long-term liability to Venezuela is backed by financial assets in the first instance, the risk of a possible change in the government’s policy intent remains, which could jeopardize debt sustainability over the long run.

  • Contingent liability risk. If the agreement terminates unexpectedly, the authorities would need to provide resources for maintaining existing projects financed under the arrangement.

1/

The financed part is repaid in 23 equal payments after a two-year grace period during which the accrued interest is capitalized.

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Antigua and Barbuda: Fiscal Developments, 2000–07

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2008, 225; 10.5089/9781451801903.002.A001

Sources: Antigua and Barbuda authorities; ECCB; IMF World Economic Outlook; and Fund staff calculations.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.

ECCU: Fiscal Performance, Average 2001-06

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2008, 225; 10.5089/9781451801903.002.A001

Sources: ECCU authorities; and Fund staff estimates.
Figure 3.
Figure 3.

Antigua and Barbuda: Banking System Vulnerabilities, 2002-07

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2008, 225; 10.5089/9781451801903.002.A001

Sources: ECCB; and Fund staff calculations.
Figure 4.
Figure 4.

Antigua and Barbuda: External Competitiveness, 1992–2006

Citation: IMF Staff Country Reports 2008, 225; 10.5089/9781451801903.002.A001

Sources: ECCB; Caribbean Tourism Organization; ECCU country authorities; Insurance Schemes; World Travel and Tourism Council; and Fund staff estimates.1/ An increase (decrease) indicates an appreciation (depreciation). Customer REER measures customers-weighted index of nominal exchange rates deflated by seasonally adjusted relative consumer prices.2/ The sharp movements in the competitor-based real exchange rate in 2002–04 were largely driven by the Dominican Republic’s peso.3/ Arrivals to Antigua and Barbuda are defined as stayover arrivals by air.4/ Scaled from 1 to 100. A higher value means that the country is more competitive in the tourism market.
Table 1.

Antigua and Barbuda: Basic Data

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Sources: Antigua and Barbuda authorities; ECCB; and Fund staff estimates and projections.

Based on information available at the time of the consultation discussions.

Data for 2007 is up to April 2007.

There is a break in the interest rate series in 2003, owing to changes in reporting requirements for banks.

Data for 2005 includes debt relief from Italy.

Table 2.

Antigua and Barbuda: Monetary Survey, 2005–12

(Baseline Scenario)

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Sources: ECCB, and Fund staff projections.
Table 3.

Antigua and Barbuda: Balance of Payments, 2003–12

(Baseline Scenario)

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Sources: Antigua and Barbuda authorities; ECCB; and Fund staff estimates and projections.

Based on ECCB estimates. There is a structural break in 2005 owing to introduction of data from ASYCUDA.

Reflects debt relief from Devcon in 2004 and Italy in 2005.

Includes financing gap.

Table 4.

Antigua and Barbuda: Central Government Operations, 2005–12

(Baseline Scenario)

(In millions of Eastern Caribbean dollars)

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Sources: Antigua and Barbuda authorities; and Fund staff estimates and projections.

Based on information on debt and interest payments available at the time of the consultation discussions.

Reflects recent reconciliation of outstanding debt to statutory bodies.

Based on 2008 budget estimates.

Includes contributions to social security, medical benefits, and education.

The projections include an interest payment on outstanding arrears (at their contractual rates).

Includes interest and amortization arrears, unpaid vouchers to domestic creditors, personnel payables, and unpaid contributions.

Includes debt relief from a commercial supplier in 2004, and from the Italian Government in 2005.

The gap is assumed to be filled by new borrowing at 8.5 percent interest rate on average.

Excludes asset sales.

Table 5.

Antigua and Barbuda: Central Government Operations, 2005–12

(Baseline Scenario)

(In percent of GDP)

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Sources: Antigua and Barbuda authorities; and Fund staff estimates and projections.

Based on information on debt and interest payments available at the time of the consultation discussions.

Reflects recent reconciliation of outstanding debt to statutory bodies.

Based on 2008 budget estimates.

Includes contributions to social security, medical benefits, and education.

The projections include an interest payment on outstanding arrears (at their contractual rates).

Includes interest and amortization arrears, unpaid vouchers to domestic creditors, personnel payables, and unpaid contributions.

Includes debt relief from a commercial supplier in 2004, and from the Italian Government in 2005.

The gap is assumed to be filled by new borrowing at 8.5 percent interest rate on average.

Excludes asset sales.