SDespite the economic contraction Antigua and Barbuda faced during the 2009- 2013 administration, the present government has stood up to the challenges and defied the odds. 

Presenting the 2019 National Budget, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has noted the significant economic growth that Antigua and Barbuda have seen annually. 

“In the period, 2014 to 2018, the average growth of our nation’s economy was a remarkable 4.5 percent annually. This country was recovered from the disaster of five previous years of decline, retrogression, and regression and placed on a firm, solid and steady climb to progress,” PM Browne explained. 

The 2019 budget promises to highlight how special management and financial acumen will continue to nature the economic growth within the country. 

Highlighting this momentous task, PM Browne said: “Economic growth brings many benefits, but its seeds must be planted, and its trees nurtured to produce the beneficial fruits a nation needs.

This task requires special management and financial acumen.  

And these are among the key competencies that our government has employed to the benefit of our people.”

Prime Minister Gaston goes further in presenting the facts of increased average wages and salaries, and employment in which Antigua and Barbuda now a holds a record to which his government is proud of. 

Focusing on just four compelling aspects which give credence to the country’s economic record, PM Browne noted the following:  

“First, five straight years of economic growth. Second, several thousand new jobs have been created between 2013 and 2018, and a further 2000 jobs will be added in 2019.  Indeed, Social Security estimates that the level of unemployment has been reduced, as a result of our pro-employment policies. 

Third, back pay to public servants, plus a 5 percent increase in basic pay, amounting to approximately $70 million, after a decade of waiting, distress and disappointment under the previous administration. 

Fourth, growth in per capita income increased from an average of $36,569.00 between 2009 and 2013 to $43,268.00 between 2014 and 2018. 

In other words, your wealth has increased by an average of 20 percent over the period. 

Our people are clearly better off today, and our economy is back on its feet and standing tall.”