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Guyana Economy

    Economy—overview: In 1997, Guyana, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, posted its sixth straight year of economic growth of 5% or better, with the advance led by gold and bauxite mining and by sugar growing. Favorable growth factors have included expansion in the key agricultural and mining sectors, a more favorable atmosphere for business initiative, a more realistic exchange rate, a moderate inflation rate, and the continued support of international organizations. However, a severe drought and political turmoil following the 1997 elections contributed to a negative growth rate for 1998. Serious underlying economic problems will continue. Electricity has been in short supply and constitutes a major barrier to future gains in national output. The government must persist in efforts to manage its sizable external debt and extend its privatization program.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$1.8 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: -1.8% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,500 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 37%
    industry: 22%
    services: 41% (1997 est.)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.1% (1998)

    Labor force: 245,492 (1992)

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture, hunting and forestry 30.2%, commerce 16%, manufacturing 11% (1992)

    Unemployment rate: 12% (1992 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $253.7 million
    expenditures: $304.1 million, including capital expenditures of $108.8 million (1997 est.)

    Industries: bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, fishing (shrimp), textiles, gold mining

    Industrial production growth rate: 7.1% (1997 est.)

    Electricity—production: 325 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 98.46%
    hydro: 1.54%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 339 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 14 million kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: sugar, rice, wheat, vegetable oils; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; forest and fishery potential not exploited

    Exports: $593.4 million (1997 est.)

    Exports—commodities: sugar, gold, bauxite/alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses

    Exports—partners: Canada 25.9%, US 20.4%, UK 22.7%, Netherlands Antilles 8.4%, Germany 4.3% (1996)

    Imports: $641.6 million (1997 est.)

    Imports—commodities: manufactures, machinery, petroleum, food

    Imports—partners: US 27.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 17.7%, Netherlands Antilles 12.1%, UK 10.7%, Japan 4.2% (1996)

    Debt—external: $1.5 billion (1997)

    Economic aid—recipient: $84 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Guyanese dollar (G$) = 100 cents

    Exchange rates: Guyanese dollars (G$) per US$1—163.7 (December 1998), 150.5 (1998), 142.4 (1997), 140.4 (1996), 142.0 (1995), 138.3 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)