Mid-year economic report pleasing – Min. Harmon

─ some areas require attention

DPI, Guyana, Monday, August 16, 2018

Guyana’s mid-year economic report, though satisfying, also highlighted the need to focus on several areas, according to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon. At today’s post-Cabinet press briefing, the minister said that Cabinet perused the report which was presented by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan on August 14, in keeping with Chapter 67 of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act of 2003.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon

The senior government official explained that some of the areas requiring attention refer to the completion rate of projects under the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP). This is much better for 2018, thus far, he said, “government has actually introduced some measures that will check the progress in all of these ministries…If there is a slacking up in this regard, it can affect the overall target at the end of the year so we have to keep our foot on the gas there.”

Other challenges include climate change, which could affect commodity output and price volatility in oil and gas, rice and the mining sector. The underlying changes affecting the sugar industry could also impact negatively or positively on future economic performance.

Minister Harmon stated, “those are issues we are keeping a very close eye on and we believe once we have those particular matters in check, (those over which we have control), we will certainly ensure that by the end of the year, we are in a much better position.”

The Mid-year economic report showed that the real growth of Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as 4.5 percent as compared to the adjusted 2.5 percent of 2017. This was attributed to performances of the agriculture, mining, services and construction sectors. Inflation was recorded at 1.3 percent, slightly lower than the same period in 2017 and attributed to lower food prices. Mid-year revenue collection totalled $109.2Billion, a $14.8Billion increase and over the same period last year. $6.3Billion of this was as a result of tax arrears. The Mid-year economic report was laid before the National Assembly at the last sitting.

Paul McAdam

Image: Kawise Wishart

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