‘Booming’ Guyana only country in region to record double-digit growth in 2023 – World Bank
With natural resource wealth fuelling its growth over the past few years, the World Bank projects that Guyana will be the only country in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region to record double-digit growth in 2023.
This is detailed in the Bank’s half-yearly report, the Global Economic Prospects, published on Tuesday.
Guyana should see a growth rate of some 25.2 per cent, building on the 57.8 per cent expansion in 2022.
The growth should continue increasing in 2024, with a 21.2 per cent rate expected.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines has the region’s second highest growth rate, some six per cent, for 2023. Then, the Dominican Republic and Barbados will record growth rates of 4.8 per cent each.
In the entire LAC region, however, economies’ growth will slow down. Altogether, countries in the region are expected to record only a 1.3 per cent growth.
The slowdown in growth, which appeared to be on the rise last year when COVID-19 restrictions eased, has been attributed to inflation (the rising price of commodities) and high interest rates.
Growth in the Caribbean specifically, the World Bank said, is expected to slow to 5.6 per cent in 2023 and 5.7 percent 2024. Contextually, the region recorded a 7.7 per cent growth rate last year.
“Aside from Guyana, which remains in a natural resources-fueled growth boom, the sub-region faces renewed headwinds,” the Bank pointed out.
Even as 2022 saw the tourism sector revitalised after the harsh COVID-19 lockdowns, renewed challenges include tighter financing conditions which are expected to constrain investments. Consequently, the Bank explained that it will be harder for many islands to roll over debt and finance large fiscal and current account deficits.
Overall, the Washington-based institution said it had cut its 2023 growth forecast from 2.9 per cent to 1.7 per cent after the risks it identified six months ago all materialised.
Tougher than anticipated anti-inflationary measures, persistently high energy prices and continued lockdowns in China, the Bank said, led to a much weaker outlook for this year than was expected last summer.