In this section, we set out, without analysis or comments, the key takeaways from the Minister’s review of 2018 and his projections for 2019.

 2018

 ■             Growth in Real GDP of 3.4% compared with an initial target

 of 3.8%.

 ■             Inflation at a rate of 2.0% compared with an initial target of 2.4%.

 ■             The Central Bank rate of the Guyana Dollar to the US Dollar at

 October 2018 was $208.5 compared with $206.5 in 2017, a

 change of $2 or 1%.

 ■             Average market commercial bank mid-rates for the US Dollar

 depreciated by 0.02% to $212.61 at September 2018.

 ■             Overall balance of payments deficit of US$180.7 million com

 pared with US$69.5 million deficit in 2017, worsening by 160%.

 ■             Decrease in merchandise exports of US$45.2 million or 3.1%

 during 2018, to US$1.39 billion. Merchandise imports are

 expected to increase by US$47.8 million or 2.9% during 2018, to

 US$1.69 billion.

 ■             Current account deficit of US$463.8 million, compared to a deficit

 of US$297.3 million in 2017; and a surplus of US$283.0 million

 in the capital account, compared to a surplus of US$228.0 million

 in 2017.

 ■             Current revenue of $216.9 billion compared with $195.1 billion in

 2017, an increase of 11.2% and an increase of $15 billion or 7.4%

 from budget of $201.9 billion. Current expenditure of $213.1

 billion, an increase of 22.9% over 2017.

 ■             Capital expenditure of $59 billion compared with budget of $58.6

 billion.

 ■             Overall fiscal deficit of $52.16 billion compared with budgeted

 amount of $54.52 billion and $40.52 billion in 2017.

 ■             Gross external reserves of Bank of Guyana at the end of 2018

 projected at US$477 million, a decrease from US$581.0 million in

 2017, or 17.9%. This represents 2.5 months of import cover.

 

 2019 Targets

 ■             Growth in Real GDP of 4.6%.

 ■             Inflation of 2.5%.

 ■             A surplus of US$15.0 million on the Balance of Payments, a

 reversal from a deficit of US$180.7 million in 2018, a turnaround

 of 108.3%.

 ■             Merchandise exports to increase by 4.12% or US$57.4 million to

 US$1.45 billion and imports to increase by 0.83% or US$14.1

 million to US$1.71 billion.

 ■             Current account to register a contraction of the deficit of

 US$102.6 million to US$361.2 million. Capital account surplus of

 US$376.2 million compared with US$283.0 million for 2018.

 ■             Current revenue of $238.3 billion, an increase of 9.9%. Current

 expenditure of $291.0 billion, an increase of 11.5%.

 ■             Capital expenditure of $69.3 billion.

 ■             Overall fiscal deficit of $52.2 billion to be financed by domestic

 borrowings (60%) and external borrowings (40%).

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