Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh today released the Mid-Year report on the performance of the economy and pegged GDP growth at 3.2% but the vital gold sector is in the doldrums and export earnings from the precious metal were down 25%.
Below are some of the highlights provided by Singh yesterday.
Key Achievements in
the First Half of 2014
• The economy recorded overall growth of 3.2 per cent in real gross domestic product in the first half of 2014, within which non-sugar GDP grew by 2 per cent.
• The economy is now projected to grow by 4.5 per cent in the full year 2014, with non-sugar growth now projected at 3.6 per cent.
• The rice industry continues to achieve an unprecedented production boom, with production in the first crop of 312,283 tonnes, 18.3 per cent over last year’s record high first crop of 263,868 tonnes.
• Sugar production in the first crop of 79,995 tonnes was 66.5 per cent above the 2013 level.
• The forestry sector recorded robust growth of 38.1 per cent, supported by the introduction of new incentives to harvesters.
• Gold declarations contracted by 17.2 per cent at the half year.
• Manufacturing output grew by 11.2 per cent driven by increased levels of production for sugar and rice.
• The construction sector recorded an extremely strong 16.8 per cent growth reflecting both public and private sector activity
• Wholesale and retail, information and communication, and financial and insurance activities recorded growth of 6 per cent, 3.5 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.
• The overall balance of payments deficit improved to US$93 million, compared to US$145.6 million at half year 2013.
• Excluding gold, total exports grew by 4.3 per cent to US$307.5 million in the first half of 2014.
• Sugar exports returned US$34.4 million in earnings, a 26.4 per cent increase.
• Rice export earnings increased to US$95.6 million, 14.9 per cent higher than at June 2013.
• Timber export earnings rose to US$21.3 million, a 31.3 per cent increase
• Gold exports earnings contracted by 24.6 percent to US$226.7 million.
• Net domestic credit by the banking system to the private sector grew by 2.9 per cent.
• Credit growth was driven by the mining, construction & engineering and real estate sector which expanded by 10.3 per cent, 7.6 per cent, and 7.5 per cent, respectively.
• Credit to rice milling, other services and manufacturing also expanded by 6.4 per cent, 5.4 per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively.
• The consumer price index has declined marginally from the December 2013 level by 0.4 per cent, reflecting continued stability in major commodity prices in the domestic marketplace.
• The non-financial public sector recorded a surplus of $1.7 billion after grants in the first half of 2014.
• As at end June 2014, Guyana’s total external public debt stood at US$1.23 billion which was 1.6 percent lower than at the end of 2013.
• At the end of June 2014, Guyana’s domestic debt stock stood at US$422.7 million which was 11.8 per cent below the end 2013 position.