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Guyana: Economy#

The Guyanese economy exhibited moderate economic growth in recent years and is based largely on agriculture and extractive industries. The economy is heavily dependent upon the export of six commodities - sugar, gold, bauxite, shrimp, timber, and rice - which represent nearly 60% of the country's GDP and are highly susceptible to adverse weather conditions and fluctuations in commodity prices. Much of Guyana's growth in recent years has come from a surge in gold production in response to global prices, although downward trends in gold prices may threaten future growth. In 2014, production of sugar dropped to a 24-year low.

Guyana's entrance into the Caricom Single Market and Economy in January 2006 has broadened the country's export market, primarily in the raw materials sector. Guyana has experienced positive growth almost every year over the past decade. Inflation has been kept under control. Recent years have seen the government's stock of debt reduced significantly - with external debt now less than half of what it was in the early 1990s. Despite recent improvements, the government is still juggling a sizable external debt against the urgent need for expanded public investment. In March 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank, Guyana's principal donor, canceled Guyana's nearly $470 million debt, equivalent to 21% of GDP, which along with other Highly Indebted Poor Country debt forgiveness, brought the debt-to-GDP ratio down from 183% in 2006 to 67% in 2015. Guyana had become heavily indebted as a result of the inward-looking, state-led development model pursued in the 1970s and 1980s.

Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labor and a deficient infrastructure.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$6.093 billion (2016 est.)
$5.857 billion (2015 est.)
$5.675 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$3.456 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate4% (2016 est.)
3.2% (2015 est.)
3.8% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$7,900 (2016 est.)
$7,600 (2015 est.)
$7,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving18.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
8.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
5.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 82.2%
government consumption: 19.7%
investment in fixed capital: 25.9%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 47.9%
imports of goods and services: -75.7% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 20.6%
industry: 33.1%
services: 46.3% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productssugarcane, rice, edible oils; beef, pork, poultry; shrimp, fish
Industriesbauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining
Industrial production growth rate12% (2016 est.)
Labor force313,800 (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate11.1% (2013)
11.3% (2012)
Population below poverty line35% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.3%
highest 10%: 33.8% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index44.6 (2007)
43.2 (1999)
Budgetrevenues: $899.8 million
expenditures: $1.036 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues26% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt53.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
48.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.8% (2016 est.)
-0.9% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate5.5% (31 December 2011)
4.25% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate13% (31 December 2016 est.)
12.83% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$677.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$631 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$1.621 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.62 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.566 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.492 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$610.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$440.4 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$339.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Current account balance$72 million (2016 est.)
-$181 million (2015 est.)
Exports$1.15 billion (2016 est.)
$1.17 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiessugar, gold, bauxite, alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, timber
Exports - partnersUS 33.5%, Canada 17.9%, UK 6.7%, Ukraine 4.3%, Jamaica 4% (2015)
Imports$1.44 billion (2016 est.)
$1.475 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmanufactures, machinery, petroleum, food
Imports - partnersUS 24.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 24.1%, China 10.8%, Suriname 9.5% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$547.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$600.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$2.303 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.974 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange ratesGuyanese dollars (GYD) per US dollar -
206.6 (2016 est.)
206.5 (2015 est.)
206.5 (2014 est.)
206.45 (2013 est.)
204.36 (2012 est.)