I note with interest a recent statement by Finance Minister Winston Jordan that the growth rate for last year was a mere 2.1%, down from a projected 2.9% growth rate.
This is most disturbing, especially when seen against an IMF projection of an average 3.9 % for the global economy for the next two years. For a small economy like ours with vast resources at our disposal, it is a shame that we are unable to rise above a modest two per cent growth rate.
It is clear that the economy is in need of some amount of rebalancing from the steep decline in agricultural earnings. The anticipated revenues from oil and gas may be less than adequate to stabilize the economy from the short to medium term perspective which could prove disastrous for the economic and social well-being of the Guyanese people.
The fact is that whenever there is a contraction of the economy, it is an indication that we are as a nation falling behind our growth potential and, to that extent, we are also poorer from the standpoint of a smaller than anticipated national pie.
One hopes that this trend of economic decline does not become systemic as happened in an earlier period when the economy registered negative growth for sustained periods. One consequence of such decline was a steep drop in living standards and in the overall quality of life of the Guyanese people.