In the first half of 2020, Minister of Public Infrastructure and Finance, Bishop Juan Edghill revealed moments ago that Guyana’s real economy is estimated to have grown by 45.6 percent, driven by the petroleum sector. However, the non-oil economy contracted by 4.9 percent, with significant declines recorded across many major industries. Edghill said that this was, in part, due to the protracted General and Regional Elections, but also a result of the significant reduction in economic activity after the introduction of several emergency measures in the second quarter to curb the spread of COVID-19. The Minister explained that these measures saw restrictions being imposed on the movement of persons and operation of non-essential businesses, which, in turn, led to a reduction in household income.

While there was a phased relaxation of measures in the third quarter, Minister Edghill said that a surge in COVID-19 cases in August has necessitated the reintroduction of more stringent measures. He said that the need to constantly monitor and readjust emergency measures in response to the spread of COVID-19 amplifies uncertainty surrounding the economic performance of various industries for the remainder of this year. As such, Minister Edghill said that a few different scenarios are considered in forecasting growth and other macroeconomic indicators for 2020. In this regard, he said that real GDP is expected to grow by between 48.4 percent and 51.2 percent, while the non-oil economy is expected to contract by between 1.4 percent and 4.3 percent.


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