Eco­no­my Gu­y­a­na crawls to mo­dest 2.6 % growth ra­te in 2016

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

For the first ti­me sin­ce 2009, Gu­y­a­na’s eco­no­my fa­ced a num­ber of ex­tra­or­di­na­ry eco­no­mic cir­cum­stan­ces which saw it craw­ling in 2016 to achie­ve a mo­dest 2.6 per­cent growth ra­te. This was re­ve­a­led as Fi­nan­ce Mi­nis­ter Wins­ton Jor­dan pre­sen­ted the 2017 bud­get to the Na­ti­o­nal As­sem­bly.

Jor­dan du­ring his pre­sen­ta­ti­on re­min­ded the mem­bers of the Hou­se that the bud­get for 2016 pro­jec­ted an over­all re­al growth ra­te of 4.4 per­cent. At mid-year, he said that a re­al eco­no­mic growth ra­te of 2 per­cent was achie­ved. Howe­ver, sin­ce se­ve­r­al in­du­stries and sec­tors in­clu­ding su­gar, ri­ce, con­struc­ti­on, and who­lesa­le and re­tail tra­de, we­re showing signs of dis­tress, al­rea­dy, the eco­no­mist said that the pro­jec­ted growth ra­te for 2016 was re­vi­sed down­wards to 4 per­cent. Howe­ver, the Fi­nan­ce Mi­nis­ter no­t­ed that the­re we­re se­ve­r­al un­ex­pec­ted de­vel­op­ments sin­ce that ti­me which in­clu­ded the down­si­zing of Ba­ra­ma and De­me­ra­ra Tim­bers Li­mi­ted’s ope­ra­ti­ons in the fo­re­stry sec­tor; struc­tu­ral chan­ges and on­go­ing stri­kes in the su­gar in­du­stry; and the slow pa­ce of im­ple­men­ta­ti­on of the Pu­blic Sec­tor In­vest­ment Pro­gram (PSIP). Tho­se fac­tors, he said, “con­spi­red” to re­du­ce the re­al growth ra­te to 2.6 per­cent for 2016. Though the fi­gu­re is per­haps the lo­west in re­cent ti­mes, it is still a re- flec­ti­on of po­si­ti­ve growth. The last ti­me the eco­no­my re­cor­ded growth ra­te this low or “mo­dest” was in 2009. Pri­or bud­gets show that the Gu­y­a­ne­se eco­no­my achie­ved re­al growth of 3.1 per­cent in 2008, a most com­men­da­ble achie­ve­ment un­der the cir­cum­stan­ces that pre­vai­led fol­lo­wing growth ra­tes of 5.1 and 5.4 per­cent in 2006 and 2007, res­pec­ti­ve­ly. In 2010, re­al GDP ex­pand­ed by 3.6 per­cent in 2010 whi­le in 2011; the do­mestic eco­no­my achie­ved a GDP of 5.4 per­cent.

Re­al gross do­mestic pro­duct grew by 4.8 per­cent in 2012, and in 2013, the Gu­y­a­ne­se eco­no­my re­cor­ded its eighth con­se­cu­ti­ve year of growth, with re­al GDP ex­pan­ding by 5.2 per­cent. In 2015, the Fi­nan­ce Mi­nis­ter had re­por­ted that the esti­ma­ted half-year growth of 3.2 per­cent re­pre­sen­ted a slip­pa­ge re­la­ti­ve to the 3.9 per­cent achie­ved for the half-year of 2013. This per­for­man­ce cau­sed the growth ra­te for 2014 to be sca­led down from 5.6 per­cent to 4.5 per­cent. Un­for­tu­na­te­ly, Jor­dan said that even that lo­wer growth ra­te was not achie­ved, for the eco­no­my con­trac­ted to 3.8 per­cent. He had said that this was the first sign that the eco­no­my was slo­wing down, with the rapid­ly de­te­ri­o­ra­ting po­li­ti­cal cli­ma­te being iden­ti­fied as a sig­ni­fi­cant con­tri­buto­ry fac­tor.


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