Guyana’s growth rate revised downwards

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The Bank of Guyana has completed its 2018 annual report in which it predicted that the local economy will grow by 4.4 per cent at the end of 2019, a downward revision from the Government’s 4.6 per cent predicted in November 2018.

In his November 2018 budget speech, Finance Minister Winston Jordan had said the economy is expected to grow by 4.6 per cent amid steady growth in the global economy and stable commodity prices.

But the Central Bank said the growth rate is dependent on the growth of major economic sectors.

Notably, the Minister also predicted that the economy will record a 3.4 per cent growth rate at the end of 2018.

According to the Bank of Guyana, the economy surpassed this projection with a “stronger” growth rate of 4.1 per cent, an improvement from the 2.1 per cent growth rate experienced in 2017.

“This outturn was on account of higher production of bauxite, livestock, forestry and other crops as well as increases in construction, manufacturing and services activities,” the report published recently pointed out.

However, the output of sugar, rice, gold and fishing declined.

This year, the Bank of Guyana report projected increases in the Agriculture sector by 3.2% and mining and quarrying by 3.4% due to increases in the production of bauxite and gold.

The services industry is estimated to grow by 3.7% on account of higher outturns of wholesale and retail trade while the construction and manufacturing industries are projected to increase by 10.5 per cent and 3.8 per cent.

In 2018, it was noted that public sector employment declined by 11.1 per cent as a result of lower recruitment in core civil services. The Bank of Guyana said employment in public corporations contracted on account of lower recruitment by the Guyana Sugar Corporation and financial institutions.

Though private sector employment data was unavailable, the annual report stated that the distribution, construction, transportation and other services industries experienced job creation.

However, the local gold mining and fishing industries reduced employment.

The Bank of Guyana annual report noted that global economic growth is projected to decline to 3.5 per cent in 2019 from 3.7 per cent in 2018. This it said is premised partly on the negative effects of tariff increases enacted in the United States and China. However, growth projection in the Caribbean is expected to grow by 2.0 per cent.

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