The Economy of Guyana

The Economy of Guyana

Guyanese Economy

Economy - overview: 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. Economic recovery since the 2005 flood-related contraction has been buoyed by increases in remittances and foreign direct investment in the sugar and rice industries as well as the mining sector. The bauxite mining sector should benefit in the near term from restructuring and partial privatization, and the state-owned sugar industry will conduct efficiency increasing modernizations. Export earnings from agriculture and mining have remained flat as rising commodity prices have offset declining production, while the import bill has risen, driven by higher energy costs. Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labor and a deficient infrastructure. The government is 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 nearly 48% of GDP, which along with other Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) debt forgiveness brought the debt-to-GDP ratio down from 183% in 2006 to 120% in 2007. Guyana became heavily indebted as a result of the inward-looking, state-led development model pursued in the 1970s and 1980s. Guyana's entrance into the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) in January 2006 has broadened the country's export market, primarily in the raw materials sector.


GDP - real growth rate: 3.2% (2008 est.) 5.3% (2007 est.) 5.1% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 31.9% industry: 21% services: 47.2% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.3% highest 10%: 33.8% (1999)

Distribution of family income - Gini index: 43.2 (1999)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 418,000 (2001 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA%

Unemployment rate: 11% (2007)

Budget: revenues: $463.7 million expenditures: $536 million (2008 est.)

Industries: bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining

Industrial production growth rate: 1% (2008 est.)

Electricity - production: 600 million kWh (2007)

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption: 600 million kWh (2007)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption: 10,440 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - imports: 10,960 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Agriculture - products: sugarcane, rice, shrimp, fish, edible oils; beef, pork, poultry

Exports: $736.9 million f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities: sugar, gold, bauxite, alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, timber

Exports - partners: Canada 18.7%, US 16.5%, UK 9.1%, Portugal 7.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 5.2%, France 4.7%, Netherlands 4.6%, Jamaica 4% (2007)

Imports: $1.162 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities: manufactures, machinery, petroleum, food

Imports - partners: Trinidad and Tobago 26.2%, US 20.5%, Cuba 7.2%, China 7.1%, UK 5.4% (2007)

Debt - external: $804.3 million (30 September 2008)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: Guyanese dollars (GYD) per US dollar - 203.86 (2008 est.), 201.89 (2007), 200.28 (2006), 200.79 (2005), 198.31 (2004)

Fiscal year:

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