Manufacturing sector ‘booms’ in first half of 2021
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–records 13.1 per cent increase in output
–returns from non-traditional exports grow by 14.4 per cent

PRODUCTION within Guyana’s manufacturing sector remained positive throughout the first half of 2021, recording an increase in output of 13.1 per cent, according to the Bank of Guyana.

This performance, based on statistics from the Central Bank’s mid-year report, is a significant improvement, considering that the sector contracted by 0.2 per cent at the end of the corresponding period last year.

“This out-turn reflected a 23.1 per cent rise in output of ‘other’ manufacturing, and 3.1 per cent increase in rice manufacturing, which together offset the decline of 17.2 per cent in the value-added of sugar.

“Other manufacturing industries registered increases in the categories of alcoholic beverages by 48.0 per cent; paints by 34.3 per cent; Malta by 20.3 per cent; liquid pharmaceuticals by 10.4 per cent; nonalcoholic beverages by 9.4 per cent; and electricity by 3.8 per cent, as economic activity thrived due to the reopening of the economy,” the Bank related.

While there is not always a direct relationship between an increase in output and an increase in exports, statistics from the Bank of Guyana show that total earnings from all “other exports”, commonly referred to as non-traditional exports, amounted to US$102.4 million, 14.4 per cent more than the value recorded during the same period last year.

This improvement, according to the Central Bank, was primarily on account of higher receipts in the sub-categories of rum and other spirits, beverages, diamonds, re-exports and wood products by US8.7 million, US$8.2 million, US$5.1 million, US$4.9 million, and US$0.1 million respectively.

When consolidated, total export receipts increased by 63.6 per cent, or US$786.9 million to over US$2 billion, compared to the US$1.2 billion earned during the corresponding period last year.

Owing to the performance in the first half of the year, the Bank of Guyana is optimistic that the high level of growth achieved will be sustained in the second half.

“This out-turn is expected, on account of higher output of oil, coupled with improved performance in all other sectors, as the economy continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. Notwithstanding, the end of year inflation rate is expected to remain at a low single-digit level, as supply shortfalls following the May/June floods are reversed,” the Central Bank has reported.

REBOUND
The Guyanese economy continued to rebound during the first half of 2021 from the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, moderate rate of vaccination, fiscal stimulus, structural reforms, accommodating monetary and financial forbearance policies, as well as higher commodity prices from international trade, according to the BOG.

As reported, real oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 14.5 per cent, while non-oil GDP grew by 4.8 per cent.
Improved performances were recorded in the construction, petroleum and gas, and support services, manufacturing and the service sectors, while the agriculture sector recorded reduced output, due to unprecedented floods during the months of May and June.

This aside, the external position remained sustainable from high exports and foreign inflows. The fiscal position continued to benefit from increased economic activities and trade with growth in domestic revenues, as budgeted social services and capital expenditure expanded.

Overall, the Guyanese economy recorded positive growth during the first half of 2021 from heightened activities in almost all of the major sectors.

Earlier this year, Senior Finance Minister Dr. Singh had said that Guyana would be one of the fastest growing economies in terms of real GDP, and would see rapid transformation in a number of sectors, especially since the government would make efforts to boost the non-oil economy as well.

“We’re anticipating a rapid expansion in the services sector, including transport and logistics, construction of infrastructure, including roads, bridges, office buildings in the private sector, etc, along with expansion in other services such as financial services, all of which will contribute to rapid expansion in real output,” Dr. Singh said. “So, you’re going to see Guyana being one of the fastest growing economies in real GDP terms, globally in the hemisphere, and certainly in the Caribbean… A lot of the real GDP growth in the region will be driven by Guyana,” he added.

The favourable economic performance at the end of the first half of 2021 in the non-oil economy bodes well for the upcoming second half of 2021 and beyond.

It is expected that advances in key investments, both in the public and the private sector, will buttress the second-half performance of the economy.

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