(GuyanaChronicle)with ‘very strong’ expansion of 11.5 per cent also recorded in non-oil real GDP
bright prospects ahead, as country remains on course to growing by 25.1 per cent this year, Dr. Singh says
EVEN as countries the world over continue to experience slow or no growth because of harsh global economic conditions, Guyana has managed to maintain a thriving economy through careful fiscal planning and the creation of an environment that has fostered improved performances in various economic sectors.
In presenting the government’s massive $781.9 billion 2023 budget to the National Assembly on Monday, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, said the economy grew by 62.3 per cent overall in 2022 in real terms, with a “very strong expansion of 11.5 per cent in non-oil real gross domestic product (GDP).
“At 62.3 per cent overall real growth, Guyana would be the fastest growing economy in the world in 2022,” Dr. Singh said.
The country’s performance was on account of better-than-expected output in the oil and gas sector, and the government’s policies focused on supporting the traditional and new and emergent non-oil pillars of the economy, helped ensure stronger and more broad-based growth than originally anticipated.
“Speaker, with continued interventions and policies geared at building a resilient economy, real GDP is projected to grow by 25.1 per cent this year, a rate of growth which currently puts Guyana among the top five fastest growing economies in 2023,” Dr. Singh said.
This position, according to the minister, could be largely attributed to further ramping up of oil production anticipated in the Stabroek Block.
“Growth in the non-oil economy is currently projected at 7.9 per cent this year, driven by continued expansion in construction, other crops, and wholesale and retail trade and repairs, alongside a rebound in gold mining,” Dr. Singh related.
The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, which grew by 11.9 per cent in 2022 is expected to expand by 7.2 per cent in 2023, driven by growth across all subsectors.
“Notably, in 2023, the sugar growing subsector is projected to recover and expand by 29.3 per cent, as GuySuCo anticipates higher performance from the existing estates, combined with forecasted production from the reopened Rose Hall estate later in the year. The corporation expects output of nearly 61,000 tonnes of sugar this year.
“Mr. Speaker, growth of 8.3 per cent is projected for the rice growing subsector in 2023, with total production of 652,103 metric tonnes. This reflects continued research and development efforts driving the adoption and cultivation of new, high-yielding varieties, as well as increased acreage under cultivation this year,” Dr. Singh said.
The other crops subsector is also expected to expand in 2023, at a rate of 5.8 per cent, while livestock, forestry, and fishing are projected to grow at 12.1 per cent, four per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively.
Further, the mining and quarrying sector, which grew by an enormous 109.7 per cent, is forecasted to grow by 34.1 per cent in 2023, with expansions projected for all four subsectors: oil and gas, gold, bauxite and other mining and quarrying.
This year, the Stabroek Block is forecasted to produce crude oil at an average rate of about 374,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
“Consequently, the subsector is estimated to grow by 35.6 per cent in 2023. In addition, a turnaround is anticipated for the gold mining subsector, which is projected to grow by 12.7 per cent in 2023, on account of higher expected declarations from one of the large operators, and the small and medium scale miners,” Dr. Singh said.
The bauxite subsector also recovered in 2022 from the many disruptions in 2021. This momentum is expected to continue into 2023, and with greater output expected from both large operators, the sector is projected to grow by 9.8 per cent.
Further, the other mining and quarrying subsector – comprising sand, stone, and diamonds – is also forecasted to expand this year, by 7.3 per cent.
“This is supported by continued strong growth in the infrastructure component of the PSIP [Public Sector Investment Programme], and equally strong growth in private sector construction activity.
Additionally, in 2023, sugar manufacturing is anticipated to recover, growing by 29.3 per cent. Rice and other manufacturing are expected to continue growing, by 6.1 per cent and four per cent, respectively.
“The recovery in value-added from sugar manufacturing, and the expansion in rice manufacturing corresponds with higher output from the producing estates, and advancements in cultivation and harvesting, respectively. Relating to other manufacturing, further growth is expected in the manufacturing of fabricated metal products and plastic products,” Dr. Singh said.
This will also be supported by a projected 17 per cent growth in the construction sector, which is expected to advance even faster as the government ramps up its PSIP.
“Driven by continued activity in the construction, financial, and agriculture sectors, the services sector is estimated to grow by 5.6 per cent. This is further augmented by strong growth in tourism, and robust expansion in wholesale and retail trade and repairs, transport and storage, administrative and support services, and real estate activities. These are forecasted to increase by 7.8 per cent, 7.4 per cent, 6.5 per cent and five per cent, respectively,” Dr. Singh said.