The major sectors that have supported Guyana’s economy over the years have recorded both positive and negative growth during 2016 with rice production up and sugar production on a declining slope.
There is expected to be an increase in rice production but a decline in sugar production as Guyana is yet again to revise its projected economic growth for 2017 downward.
Finance Minister Winston Jordan made the disclosure as he unveiled the Government’s 2018 fiscal plan in the National Assembly on Monday.
Mr. Jordan had revised the projected growth rate from 3.2% to $3.1% in his mid-year report. However, with continued weak performance in mining, quarrying, sugar and other sectors, the Minister announced that the growth rate for 2017 has been further revised downward.
The economy is now expected to record a 2.9% growth for 2017.
Jordan said rice production has increased due to more cultivation but the situation was the opposition for sugar which recorded decline in production. The decline in sugar production could be as a result of the government’s move to close and merge estates amid efforts to diversify the economy.
The Finance Minister said the Livestock sector is expected to grow by 4.4% while fisheries will record a 1% growth, although less than the growth recorded in 2016. The mining and quarrying sector will contract by 1.9 percent but gold declaration will remain stable, Jordan told a mostly attentive National Assembly.
He said other mining sectors like bauxite is expected to decline.
Looking at the performance of other economies and similar sectors in the region, Jordan said Guyana must continue to work to remain vigilant and build its resilience against external shocks.
He said International rice and timber prices expected to grow in 2018 with Gold expected to record a decline by end of 2017 and into 2018.