GDP to see 20.9 per cent growth in 2021

Guyana’s real gross domestic product (GDP) for 2021 is projected to grow by some 20.9 per cent, with the non-oil economy growing by 6.1 per cent, a significant reversal of the 7.3 per cent contraction in 2020.  

This projection was announced by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, during the presentation of this year’s $383.1 billion national budget. The projection, Dr Singh said, is premised on the assumption that there will be a reopening of the economy, with COVID-19 restrictions gradually lifted.

Under sectoral growth, the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries are expected to expand by 5.6 per cent, driven by growth across all sub-sectors.

The sugar industry is expected to grow by 9.6 per cent. This, Dr. Singh noted, is due to the restructuring of the Guyana Sugar Corporation, along with the recapitalisation of sugar estates and improved production.

Meanwhile, with new, high-yielding varieties, the rice industry is forecasted to expand by 3.5 per cent this year. At the same time, the forestry, livestock, other crops and fishing industries are expected to grow by 18.5 per cent – 5 per cent, 5 per cent, and 11.1 per cent respectively – driven by higher demand, and incentives provided in Budget 2020.

The extractive industries are also expected to see massive growth during this fiscal year. The mining and quarrying sector is expected to grow by 39.1 per cent. This will be driven by growth in the oil, gold, and bauxite industries.

Within the oil and gas sub-sector, the daily rate of production is projected at just over 109,000 barrels of oil per day. This sub-sector is projected to grow by 46.7 per cent in 2021. The gold mining sub-sector, which also suffered some setbacks in 2020, is expected to grow by 4.2 per cent in 2021, largely due to the resumption of operations at one large-scale gold mine, which had suffered a stoppage in 2020.

Dr Singh said the bauxite sub-sector, which faced major interruptions in 2020, is expected to recover in 2021, and grow by 18.4 per cent. Similarly, the other mining and quarrying sub-sector, which saw a significant contraction in 2020 as a result of lower demand, is projected to recover, and grow by 19.8 per cent in 2021.

The performance of the manufacturing sector is projected to improve by 7.3 per cent in 2021, on account of anticipated growth in sugar, rice, and other manufacturing. The three sub-sectors are expected to grow by 9.6 per cent, 8.7 per cent and 6.2 per cent, respectively.

The Finance Minister said with the resumption and expansion of public sector construction through the Public Sector Investment Programme, along with growth in the private sector investment, a 9.1 per cent growth rate is projected for this sector in 2021.

Significant improvements are anticipated for 2021, following the phased reopening of the economy, and an overall growth rate of five per cent is projected for the services sector. This is largely driven by anticipated expansions in wholesale and retail trade, transportation and storage, and financial and insurance activities, which are projected to grow by 10 per cent, 9.9 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively.

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