(CMC) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its new Regional Economic Outlook report for the Western Hemisphere says Guyana will continue to experience robust economic expansion even as other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean face less favourable growth conditions and brace for a slowdown in their productive sectors.
The report noted that Guyana should record a 38.4% real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate this year and next year, the country’s growth should continue with an expansion of 26.6% expected.
The debt taken on by the government is projected to be about 29.9% of GDP while a 7.2% inflation rate is also expected.
This debt refers to all external financial obligations including loans taken while inflation, generally, is the rate of price increases over a period of time.
Guyana is the only country expecting double-digit growth.
St Vincent and the Grenadines (6.2%) and Panama (6.0%) are the countries with the next highest growth rates.
The entire Latin America and Caribbean region expects a 2.3% growth rate this year while growth among the non-tourism-dependent countries in the Caribbean – Haiti, Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago -should be 13.6% this year.
The IMF also projects a 1.6% growth rate for South America and a 3.8% growth rate for the bloc of countries encompassing Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.
In Guyana’s case, massive oil finds offshore are contributing to the high economic growth rates expected.
“… growth in the Caribbean commodity exporters will slow down in 2023 and further in 2024 as these countries face less favourable external conditions, although Guyana will continue to grow at a robust pace following the discovery of sizable oil reserves,” the IMF said.
The slowdown in other countries has been attributed to a weaker external environment, severe weather conditions, and a softening demand for tourism services.
In September, President Dr Irfaan Ali announced that Guyana recorded a 59.5% economic growth rate at the half-year mark with the non-oil economy growing by 12.3%.