The 2019 Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean has found that the recent political uncertainty in Guyana poses a risk to economic activity, as some private businesses have postponed investment decisions.
During an exclusive interview with the Guyana Standard this afternoon, Finance Minister, Winston Jordan said he is not aware of this finding by the survey which was conducted by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). He noted, however, that he but would not be surprised if this were the case in some areas.
The economist said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if some businesses postponed decisions until there is an atmosphere of political certainty. But I can tell you that if you look at where growth is being pulled from, it is being pulled from the lead sector, oil and gas. So there is no postponement of decisions when it comes to certain kinds of investments…There is no pulling of investments in oil.”
The Finance Minister added, “But if there is, they are unrelated to oil and gas; like maybe someone may perhaps have an interest in putting up a hotel but may hold off until certainty returns.”
Further to this, the economist said that an indicator one can easily look to in order to ascertain if investments are being stalled is the lending by commercial banks to the private sector. In this regard, Jordan said, “I can tell you that at the half-year, borrowing from the banking system has increased.”
The Finance Minister said that his half-year report will be out in approximately 10 days and there would be some useful statistics that would help observers to make more informed conclusions.
“So where some are hollering this, that, and the other, there are indicators you look for to see if that is happening. All the indicators we have looked at say the economy is progressing,” Jordan concluded.