IMF: Guyana on track for growth

Georgetown – Guyana’s economy remains resilient in the face of global economic tensions, and is on track for 47.2 per cent growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the end of this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In its most recent edition of the World Economic Outlook released this week, the Washington-based financial institution projected that Guyana will see positive growth although the global economy entered 2022 in a weaker position than previously expected.

It said the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant earlier this year forced countries to reimpose restrictions on movement, and rising energy prices and supply disruptions also resulted in higher and more broad-based inflation than anticipated, especially in the United States and many emerging markets and developing economies.

And while countries are slowly easing restrictions put in place to counter the pandemic, the IMF said global growth is still expected to slow significantly in 2022, largely because of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, had projected growth earlier this year.

He said the projected growth would be fuelled by oil production increases from the Liza Unity floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, as well as the Liza Phase Two project which will be set in place by the first half of the year.

“In the oil and gas subsector, production is expected from both Liza Destiny and Unity FPSOs, and the rate of production for 2022 is expected to be approximately 257 000 bpd on average,” Singh had said in his Budget speech.

He said the non-oil economy is also expected to continue registering strong growth, projected at 7.7 per cent this year, and driven mainly by rebounds in rice growing and gold mining, and continued expansion in construction activity and wholesale and retail trade and repairs.

The rice sector is also expected to expand by 25.1 per cent in 2022, due to replanting efforts and the introduction of new high-yielding varieties, representing a significant rebound from the 20.5 per cent decline observed in 2021.

The large gold mining sub-sector is anticipated to grow by 12.2 per cent due to higher expected declarations from one large operation, and the small and medium -scale miners. This also represents a significant comeback from this sector’s 2021 performance, which saw an estimated contraction of 14.8 per cent.

In construction, the finance minister said that its continued heavy investment in projects across sectors, and major projects coming from private sector investments, will result in a projected expansion of 10.5 per cent.

The government has already set aside GUY$5 billion (US$24 million) in this year’s national budget for cost-of-living adjustments. (CMC)

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