The economy of Antigua and Barbuda grew in 2018, mainly as a result of activity in the tourism and construction sectors.
This was according to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), which has released its report on the economic development of Antigua and Barbuda.
According to the report, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Antigua and Barbuda rose to 3.5 percent in 2018, compared to 2.8 percent to 2017.
The improvement in GDP was as a result of upward movement in tourism and construction.
The Caribbean Tourism Organisation reported that tourist stayover arrivals grew by 9.1 percent.
Furthermore, cruise passenger arrival grew in 2018 by 13.5 percent due to investments in port infrastructure and the increase in cruise calls, following devastation to other countries in the region from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The report states that the rise in hotel development, the reconstruction effort in Barbuda and the major road rehabilitation and expansion work were significant to the economic development of the country.
However, the CDB noted that the fiscal deficit for Antigua and Barbuda increased in 2018, following a rise in recurrent expenditure, capital spending and a reduction in non-tax revenue collection.
Recurrent expenditure grew by 1.7 percent, due to increases in personal emoluments of 16.1 percent, a pay rise of 5 percent for civil servants and seven percent interest payment.
Capital expenditure increased by 26.7 percent, owing to the road rehabilitation project on the Friars Hill Road and the Sir George Walter Highway, which has been delayed on multiple occasions.
According to the Caribbean Development Bank, a reduction in travel demand to the island may cause an economic growth slowdown.
They predict a 3 percent growth outlook for 2019.