In his 2019 budget speech which was presented to the nation at the tail end of last year, Finance Minister Winston Jordan had announced a 4.6 per cent growth rate projection for 2019. After consulting with the authorities here during its Article IV Mission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) made a marginal reduction of that figure, estimating that the economy will grow to 4.4 per cent.
In its concluding statement which was issued today, the IMF mission said that economic growth strengthened in 2018 with broad-based expansion across all major sectors. It said that real GDP grew by 4.1 per cent in 2018, up from 2.1 per cent in 2017, led by construction and services sectors. Inflation, it said, remained steady at 1.6 per cent at the end of 2018, on the back of stable food prices and exchange rate.
For 2019, the mission projects real economic growth of 4.4 per cent, driven by continued strength in the construction and services sectors ahead of oil production in 2020, and a strong recovery in mining.
Meanwhile, the Fund said that the authorities here do not foresee any significant spillovers from the crisis in Venezuela at present. However, the Fund cautioned that the influx of migrants into the hinterland and rural areas could put socio-economic pressures on the local communities.
As it relates to Guyana’s medium-term prospects, the IMF visiting team said that this remains “very favourable.”