Economy grew by 4.5% in first half of 2018

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….Traditional sectors slump with sugar contracting by 30.6%

W. Jordan 2
Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan

As the Finance Ministry’s Mid-Year Report for 2018 was laid in the National Assembly earlier today, it showed growth of the economy by 4.5 per cent in the first half of the year, but the performance in the major traditional sectors have declined.

Although the Government has boasted about a slightly improved performance in the economy particularly as it relates to the first half of 2018, traditional sectors have suffered a serious decline.

Finance Minister Winston Jordan admitted that sugar has seen one of the worst performances in years and so have other traditional sectors.

There were contractions in the sugar and rice industries by 30.6 and 3.8 per cent, respectively.

Gold did not perform as anticipated, with a 19.4 percent below the projection.

Nevertheless, Jordan told the National Assembly that preliminary data indicates that that the improved growth, for the first half of 2018, was more broad-based than the previous year.

He noted that there were robust performances in agriculture, fishing and forestry, of 3.4 per cent; services, of 8.2 per cent; and construction, of 13.4 per cent.

The significant increase in the construction sector was evidenced by higher building imports by 24.7 per cent, supported by the increased pace of execution of the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP), which rose by 3.9 percentage points above the previous half year.

It was noted in the report that the inflation remains subdued at 1.3 per cent, while public debt levels remain unchanged and sustainable.

The report added that rising commodity prices, climate change and turbulent international trade relationships are threats to the Guyanese economy.

In addition to that, the Government has also revised its growth rate for 2018 to 3.7 per cent which is close to the initial rate of 3.8 per cent.

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