Latest IMF report sees accelerated growth projections for Guyana as oil production soars  

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In a world grappling with economic uncertainties, Guyana’s growth continues to be in a league of its own. The latest World Economic Outlook report, published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on October 10 themed “Navigating Global Divergences”, projects Guyana’s economy to grow by 38.4% in 2023. This rate sets Guyana apart as the fastest-growing country this year, outpacing other nations significantly.

Although Macau, the Special Administrative Region of China, is expected to see an even higher growth rate of 74.4%, it is not a country. The only other country on the IMF’s list, with double-digit growth, is Libya, at a projected 12.5%. Global growth is forecasted to be 3% in 2023.

The main factor propelling Guyana’s growth continues to be the oil and gas sector. 2023’s growth is anticipated to be fuelled by a full year of stable production at ExxonMobil’s Liza projects, and the launch of the Payara oil development project later this year. Payara alone is set to add 220,000 barrels per day (bpd) to Guyana’s daily oil output. To put that in perspective, the country currently produces approximately 380,000 bpd. By 2024, with the Payara project reaching full production, Guyana is expected to ramp up its supply to around 600,000 bpd.

While the world battles the aftermath of events like the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, causing a slow and uneven global recovery, Guyana’s economic ascent remains robust. The IMF’s growth outlook for the South American country has been progressively optimistic. Initially, the 2022 Article IV report, published late last year, predicted a growth of 25.2% for Guyana in 2023. This was later revised to 37.2% and has now been further adjusted upwards.

The IMF’s growth projection for Guyana is the highest when compared to other analysis. The government of Guyana, for instance, expects the economy to grow at 28.2% in 2023. Similarly, other banks and regional organizations have projected growth rates hovering between 25% and 28%.

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