$300.7B for 2019 national budget

─ Economy expected to grow in 2019 

DPI, Guyana, Monday, November 26, 2018

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan today announced the 2019 National Budget is $300.7Billion, an increase of 12.6 per cent from the 2018 budget.

The minister made the announcement during his presentation of the 2019 National Budget in the National Assembly today.

The 2019 Budget is “the Coalition’s penultimate budget” to be presented before the start of the financial year and holds special significance, Minister Jordan said. He noted 2019 is the year Guyana celebrates its Golden Jubilee as a Republic nation. Notably, too, it is the year, before General and Regional Elections and the much-anticipated first oil.

Guyana’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow by 4.6 per cent, an indication the economy is on the rise, the Finance Minister said.

The growth projection is based on the steady growth in the global economy and stable commodity prices, Minister Jordan said. This growth is expected to be reflected in the major sectors.

Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry are forecasted to grow by 3.9 per cent, sugar production is expected to increase by 15.6 per cent while rice is expected to grow steadily by 2.7 per cent in 2019.

Gold declaration is expected to increase with an industry growth projected at 2.5 per cent while bauxite will continue to grow by 8.6 per cent. Meanwhile, mining and quarrying sector is expected to expand by 3.7 per cent. Manufacturing is expected to grow by 4.2 per cent, construction by 10.5 per cent and services by 3.7 per cent.

Minister Jordan pointed out that inflation in 2019 is expected to be 2.5 per cent but he cautioned inflationary pressures may arise as Guyana nears oil and gas production. The minister assured the government will respond with the appropriate measures to stabilise the rate.

Meanwhile, overall, the balance of payment is expected to improve substantially to a surplus of US$15.0Million Minister Jordan said. The capital account is anticipated to grow robustly to a surplus of US$376.2Million with the current account reflecting a lower deficit of US$361.2Million.

Minister Jordan credits the improvement of the current account to a lower merchandise trade deficit of US$256.4Million, as total export earnings are projected to increase, amid higher commodity prices, and increased production.

Tiffny Rhodius.

Image by Keno George.

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