Early on in 2019, Guyana had received forecasts from several international agencies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding unprecedented GDP growth in 2020. Those reports were hinged on the emergence of the oil sector. It was projected that the value of oil export revenues would total US$2.4B this year. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, those expectations were decimated.
According to one of the latest reports of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Guyana’s value of oil exports is projected to decline by 40 to 60 percent while other oil related revenues amounting to US$230M could decline by 15 to 40 percent. While this is expected to significantly affect the high GDP forecasts, the IDB has said that Guyana is still in the safe zone.
As a result of Guyana’s diversity in traditional revenue earners, the IDB believes that some of these negative economic impacts could be offset by other sectors such as gold. In this regard, the financial institution said that improvements in the price of gold, Guyana ’s largest traditional export, will help cushion the blows of COVID-19.
The bank said that Guyana would also be able to see savings in areas such as its oil import bill. This it said is likely to decrease significantly due to the decline in economic activity.