Jul 16, 2016 News
…Sugar exports show decline in Feb.
…imports increase for same period
Given the performance of various sectors along with other factors, projected economic growth for Guyana’s economy remains at 4.4 percent, said Finance Minister, Winston Jordan.
He said that medium term economic growth is also expected to be above four percent despite falling commodity prices. He said that this is due to expansion in the mining sector and construction industry which will have multiplier impact on many other sectors, especially the services sector.
Be that as it may, Jordan believes that there are some “interesting” developments when one examines the statistics of the country’s imports and exports for the first quarter. The Finance Minister said that exports rose faster than imports, but not enough to overtake them. He said that Guyana has also fluctuated between a trade surplus and trade deficit in recent months.
He explained that trade surplus occurs when the amount by which the value of a country’s exports exceeds the cost of its imports. Trade deficit refers to the opposite.
The Finance Minister said that exports in February last rose from US$18.69 million to US$99.35 million, or 23.2 percent, when compared with January.
Compared to February 2015, he said that exports are up 21.0 percent. The Finance Minister said that the increase in exports was almost entirely due to strong performance in the gold sector.
He said that gold exports increased from US$20.55 million to US$62.81 million in February. This, Jordan said, represents an increase of 48.6 percent. Compared with February 2015, gold exports are up 64.7 percent. Although gold export volumes rose substantially in February, the economist said that the total export value of gold was also boosted by a 9.4 percent increase in the average price.
With the exception of shrimp and fish, which rose 27.5 percent and 65.9 percent, respectively, Jordan said that exports in other categories were however, weak. The Finance Minister said that sugar exports in February for example were 26.9 percent lower than the same month in 2015, while rice exports were 6.4 percent lower.
Taking his attention to imports, Jordan said that imports rose from US$11.37 million to US$106.38 million in February, a monthly increase of 12.0 percent. He noted however that imports are down 11.0 percent when compared with February 2015.
He said that several categories of goods imported increased in February. In this regard, the Finance Minister said that consumption goods (clothing, food, jewellery) rose by 18.9 percent, after a large decline in January.
As for intermediate goods (a good or service that is used in the eventual production of a finished product), Jordan said that this rose by 11.4 percent.
The Finance Minister also related that capital goods also increased by 5.4 percent with only imports of mining equipment returning to levels near its recent average. He noted, too, that imports of fuel and lubricants, which are included in the category of intermediate goods, rose 11.6 percent in February, and likely due in part to a small increase in world oil prices.
He said that imports of fuel and lubricants were 26.0 percent below their level in February 2015.
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