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 today.
Key Achievements in the First Half of 2014
• The economy recorded overall growth of 3.2 percent in real gross domestic product in the first half of 2014, within which non-sugar GDP grew by 2 percent.
• The economy is now projected to grow by 4.5 percent in the full year 2014, with non-sugar growth now projected at 3.6 percent.
• The rice industry continues to achieve an unprecedented production boom, with production in the first crop of 312,283 tonnes, 18.3 percent 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 percent above the 2013 level.
• The forestry sector recorded robust growth of 38.1 percent, supported by the introduction of new incentives to harvesters.
• Gold declarations contracted by 17.2 percent at the half year.
• Manufacturing output grew by 11.2 percent driven by increased levels of production for sugar and rice.
• Construction sector recorded an extremely strong 16.8 percent growth reflecting both public and private sector activity
• Wholesale and retail, information and communication, and financial and insurance activities recorded growth of 6 percent, 3.5 percent and 2 percent 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 percent to US$307.5 million in the first half of 2014.
• Sugar exports returned US$34.4 million in earnings, a 26.4 percent increase.
• Rice export earnings increased to US$95.6 million, 14.9 percent higher than at June 2013.
• Timber export earnings rose to US$21.3 million, a 31.3 percent 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 percent.
• Credit growth was driven by the mining, construction & engineering and real estate sector which expanded by 10.3 percent, 7.6 percent, and 7.5 percent, respectively.
• Credit to rice milling, other services and manufacturing also expanded by 6.4 percent, 5.4 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.
• The consumer price index has declined marginally from the December 2013 level by 0.4 percent, 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 percent below the end 2013 position.