-by Ravin Singh-
Despite lower-than-expected performance in the gold and sugar industries for 2018, Guyana’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), grew by 3.4%, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan announced today during his 2019 Budget presentation in the National Assembly.
Real GDP is an inflation-adjusted measure that reflects the value of all goods and services produced by an economy in a given year.
Initially, he said that real GDP growth rate had been projected to be 3.8% at the start of the year, but this was later revised to 3.4% due to underperformance in the above mentioned sectors.
With economic activity having steadily improved in the first half of the year, the growth rate after the first six months was 4.5%. The annual growth rate was then revised to 3.7 per cent.
He revealed today however, that the figure currently stands at 3.4%, and this represents an increase of 1.4% from 2017.
The Minister reported to the House that Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry sector saw growth by 1.1%, in 2018, bettering 0.4 per cent in 2017.
The livestock sector, he said, rebounded this year, with production as at the end of June growing by 29.1%, when compared with the same period, in 2017. In the fisheries industry, he said that expansion in total fish production resulted in growth in this sector of 5.6 percent at the end of June.
Due to declines in production in the other categories of fish however, it is anticipated that the sector will contract by 1.9% in 2018.
Meanwhile, growth in the forestry sector is projected to be a marginal 0.2%. The Minister said that this was due to poor weather conditions affecting the transport network and delayed road maintenance.
For the manufacturing sector, growth for this year is expected to be 0.9%. The Minister said that this is driven by a 5.2 per cent increase in manufacturing activities outside of rice and sugar.
With the construction sector evolving and expanding rapidly over the last few years, Minister Jordon revealed that at the end of 2018, the sector is projected to grow by 12%.
Credited for this growth too, is the services sector which the Minister said will expand by 4.1% at the end of the year. He noted that 6.2% growth in wholesale and retail trade, is indicative of continued positive consumer sentiment.