Antigua: A stable fiscal outlook in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma

Relief Supply To Hurricane Stricken Islands

Ministry of Finance forecasts a stable fiscal outlook in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Tuesday 5th September, 2017 saw the passage of the most powerful tropical system on record when Category 5 Hurricane Irma unleashed its wrath on the Northern Leeward Islands including Antigua and Barbuda.

In the wake of this natural disaster, the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Honourable Gaston Browne, declared the country’s commitment to the full recovery and restoration of the Sister Isle.

Apart from private donations, official support has been promised and in some instances already received from: the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB); Caribbean Development Bank (CDB); International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank); Organization of American States (OAS); and Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) among others. Bi-lateral support has also been promised and expected from a number of countries.

The Ministry estimates that over the next 2 – 4 months these sources could yield conservatively up to US$50 million towards the Barbuda recovery. This will address the immediate cash flow needs and budgetary requirements associated with restoring essential services to Barbuda.

We anticipate that in the medium term upwards of US$50 million more should be negotiated, thus moderating any volatility in the fiscal operations of the government.

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has scheduled six auctions to take place on the Regional Government Securities Market (RGSM) between 20th September and 4th December, 2017. We wish to remind investors of our stellar record in meeting our RGSM obligations and to allay any concerns of our capacity to continue meeting our commitments. Antigua and Barbuda Treasury Bills, Notes and Bonds remain attractive and viable options for investment and we wish to thank investors for their continued loyalty and support.

The Honourable Prime Minister extends heartfelt thanks to individuals, private entities, development partners, and friendly countries and Institutions which have in any form offered and extended their support. Appreciation is also extended to investors, who continue to demonstrate confidence in the economy of Antigua and Barbuda.