flag Guyana Guyana: Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

The Guyanese economy has tripled in size since the commencement of oil extraction (end-2019), marking a significant transformation from one of the lowest GDP per capita in Latin America and the Caribbean in the early nineties. With oil production rapidly escalating, Guyana witnessed the highest real GDP growth globally in 2022, reaching 62.3%, resulting in the country being reclassified as high-income as of July 2023. In 2023, Guyana's economy maintained its robust growth trajectory, with real GDP expanding by 33.0%. The commencement of operations at the third oil field in November 2023 propelled oil production to 143 million barrels for the year, resulting in a 45.9% increase in oil GDP. The non-oil economy experienced growth of 11.7%, primarily fueled by the expansion of the construction and services sectors, bolstered by significant public investment. Agricultural output saw a 7% increase, driven by notable growth in the sugar-growing sector attributed to enhanced yields. Guyana's economy is set to sustain its robust growth in the medium term, propelled by increasing oil production. Non-oil GDP is expected to grow by an average of 9.4% annually, benefiting from spillover effects from the oil sector, backed by the Local Content Act, and a vigorous public investment program boosting agriculture and construction (data from the World Bank).

Concerning public finances, in 2023, despite substantial transfers from the Natural Resource Fund (NRF), the fiscal deficit amounted to 14.6% of non-oil GDP. Transfers from the NRF totaled approximately USD 1 billion (6.0% of GDP) in 2023, up from USD 608 million (4.1% of GDP) in 2022, in line with the NRF Act 2021. In February 2024, the government approved the Fiscal Enactments Amendment Bill 2024, allowing a notable increase in the withdrawal limit from the NRF and higher caps on domestic and external debt. Fiscal policy prioritized augmenting capital investment to bolster non-oil economic growth and alleviate the pandemic's impact and escalating prices. Relief initiatives comprised direct and indirect income support, adjustments to the income tax threshold, and a reduction in fuel excise tax. The public debt-to-GDP ratio rose to 28.5% in 2023 due to new external and domestic borrowing. In 2024, the fiscal deficit, which does not yet include the NRF revisions, is anticipated to average 20.9% of non-oil GDP (or 8.1% of total GDP – World Bank). This projection reflects a situation where the rise in capital spending surpasses NRF transfers. Meanwhile, public debt as a percentage of GDP is forecasted to experience a gradual decrease as the economy continues its expansion. The urban consumer price index rose by an average of 2.8% in 2023, marking a significant deceleration in inflation compared to the 6.4% recorded in 2022. Inflation is projected to remain moderate in 2024 but is anticipated to stay elevated in the medium term due to heightened government consumption and increased input costs.

Guyana's unemployment rate was estimated at 10.3% in 2023 by the World Bank, down from 12.3% one year earlier. With more than 70% of the working-age population living in rural regions, agriculture, forestry, and fishing continue to play crucial roles in job creation and poverty alleviation efforts. Reducing poverty will depend on enhancing the purchasing power of impoverished and vulnerable households, along with translating the growth of the non-oil economy into job opportunities.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 14.5317.0521.1823.6928.01
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 62.333.033.918.721.1
GDP per Capita (USD) 18,35321,47226,59229,65034,954
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -1.2-2.6-1.7-1.4-1.1
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP)
Inflation Rate (%)
Current Account (billions USD) 3.453.444.843.626.29
Current Account (in % of GDP) 23.720.222.915.322.5

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - October 2021.

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Guyana Dollar (GYD) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GBP 278.82265.76277.13260.63267.31

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Main Sectors of Industry

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 13.1 25.4 61.5
Value Added (in % of GDP) 13.5 50.4 30.8
Value Added (Annual % Change) -9.1 33.5 11.9

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


The Active Population in Figures

Labour Force 306,673309,040291,832

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

Total activity rate 58.52%58.56%58.64%
Women activity rate 45.45%46.15%46.43%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database


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Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

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Sources of General Economic Information

Main Online Newspapers and Portals
Guyana Chronicle
Kaieteur News
Stabroek News
The Guyana Times
Guyana Newspapers
Guyana News
Useful Resources
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce
Office of the President
Official Government Website
Bank of Guyana

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Latest Update: May 2024