Guyana recorded real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 14.5 % in the first half of 2021, according to the Ministry of Finance’s Mid-Year Report.
The sectors which recorded growth were the rice industry which grew by an estimated 7.8% and the extractive industries which grew by 23.1 %, with higher output from the petroleum and other mining industries despite contractions in gold and bauxite.
It was noted that total output from the petroleum sector increased by 65.4% when compared to the same period last year. With respect to diamond, sand and stone, these were estimated to have seen a total growth of 63.3 % with quarry stone having a growth output of 141 %, sand declarations growing by 119.3 percent as a result of increased activity in the construction sector while diamond declarations improved with a growth of 166.3 %.
With regard to manufacturing, this sector notably saw an estimated growth of 13.1% when compared to the same period last year with expansion of the sector being attributed to a growth of 23.1% in the manufacturing of non-metallic products, chemical products and beverages.
The Report also noted the strong performance of the construction sector which grew by 25.5 % in the first half of 2021, reflecting increased emphasis on implementing the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) as well as increased private sector construction reflecting improved private sector confidence and optimism regarding the economic outlook.
According to the Report, the services industries were estimated to have expanded in the first half of 2021 by 9.4 percent when compared to the same period in 2020 as it was noted that the measures to curtail the impact of COVID-19 would have severely impacted such activities last year.
The Ministry indicated that despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the May-June floods which significantly affected the agriculture sector, the non-oil GDP grew by 4.8 percent.
The agriculture, forestry and fishing industries for the first half of 2021 are estimated to have contracted by 2.4 as a result of lower output from the other crops, sugar growing, forestry and fishing industries.
At the end of the first half of the year, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) produced 29,650 tonnes of sugar resulting in a decline in the industry performance by 22.4 percent when compared to the same period in 2020. Some of the reasons indicated were a 30 percent mortality of mature cane at Albion estate, 10 percent at Uitvlugt and 5 percent at Blairmont due to the floods. Another 15,000 tonnes of sugar in the second crop were also expected to be lost, based on the Report.
Meanwhile, ‘other crops’ declined by 7.3 percent due to the floods and the livestock industry was estimated to have grown by 10.6 percent when compared to the same period in 2020. However, for that same period, the fishing industry contracted by an estimated 6.6 percent and the forestry industry by 7.1 percent.
The Ministry indicated that the revised full-year forecast for real GDP growth in 2021 is now 19.5 percent overall and 3.7 percent for the non-oil economy.
The Mid-Year Report is expected to be tabled by Senior Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh at the first sitting of the National Assembly once the Assembly resumes after its current recess.