Growth rate upped

-but sugar, gold, rice down

Finance Minister Winston Jordan yesterday presented the 2018 mid-year review to Parliament and upped the projected growth rate to 3.7% for the year but the key sectors of sugar, gold and rice were down and there were also unsettling figures on balance of payments and foreign reserves.

Earlier this year, Jordan had sharply revised downwards the projected growth rate for the year from 3.8% to 3.4%. Yesterday, on the strength of the six-month performance, he upped the projection to 3.7% though key sectors continue to underperform.

The review said that Guyana’s economy is estimated to have grown by 4.5 percent by midyear  comparing favourably with the revised growth rate of 2.5 percent for the first half of 2017.

Non-sugar growth rate is estimated to have climbed to 5.1 percent from a revised 2.8 percent. The report said that preliminary data indicated that growth for the first half of 2018 was more broad-based than the previous year, with robust performances in agriculture, fishing and forestry, of 3.4 percent; services, of 8.2 percent; and construction, of 13.4 percent. The significant hike in the construction sector was evidenced by higher building imports by 24.7 percent, supported by the higher pace of execution of the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP), which rose by 3.9 percentage points above the previous half year. Private sector investments also rose, with, for example, real estate mortgages growing by 5.0 percent at the end of the review period, compared to 4.1 percent at the previous half year…..