The Latin America and Caribbean region, which was particularly hard-hit by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is showing signs of economic recovery. Guyana, with its prolific oil and gas industry, leads the region’s economic expansion.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s World Economic Outlook report for October 2022, Guyana is expected to record a 57.8 per cent growth rate this year.
This was announced recently, following consultations between an IMF team and local authorities. Importantly, however, this new report shows that Guyana’s growth is the highest in the region.
The second highest regional growth rate, 10.5 per cent, is projected for Barbados. The other oil producers in the region, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname, expect growth rates of four per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.
Brazil expects a 2.8 per cent growth rate, while Venezuela should see a six per cent growth rate. Only Haiti expects negative growth, at a rate of -1.2 per cent.
The entire Latin America and Caribbean region is expecting a 3.5 per cent growth rate.
While these figures show that more countries in the region are recovering, the IMF noted that the global economy continues to experience numerous “turbulent challenges”.
“Inflation higher than seen in several decades, tightening financial conditions in most regions, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic all weigh heavily on the outlook,” the report noted.
Other concerns include further food and energy price shocks which have the ability to prolong the rising cost of goods and services experienced by consumers.
As such, the IMF urged policymakers to adopt necessary fiscal and monetary measures to counter these challenges.
In a previous report, specific to Guyana, the IMF emphasised that “continued prudent policies and structural reforms” are crucial.
These efforts, assisted by the Fund itself, can help to avoid the build-up of macroeconomic vulnerabilities while guaranteeing more inclusive growth and equity locally.