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|The Bank of Guyana issued the dire warning that this year’s cost of living will more than double by year end. People will purchase goods and services at tremendously higher prices. Workers with no or minimal increase in wages and salary, the unemployed, and pensioners will feel the squeeze.
At the end of March, the inflation rate was pegged at 1.7 percent, and according to the Bank, driven mainly by increased prices in the fuel and food categories. By year end the inflation rate is expected to rise by 4.1 percent. This is more than a 100 percent increase. The Bank said the increase in inflation is driven by higher world food and oil prices due to supply.
The Urban Consumer Price Index (CPI) is projected to increase by 1.7 percent and specific categories food, housing and transportation are among the most hard hit sectors.
Governments around the world are implementing measures to cushion inflation, food and fuel prices and nudge the supply chain. During the height and immediate post the pandemic periods various programmes were rolled out to help citizens bounce back after lockdown of the economy and spiraling unemployment.
In the United States, the administrations of both President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden injected Stimulus Packages to incentivise spending and revitalise the country’s economy. The Biden administration is tackling inflation to drive down food, gas and auto prices.
In Canada, the federal government spent C$100 Billion or US$77 Billion to kick-start a post-pandemic economy. The regional governments have taken various measures to cushion the impact of price increase, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government incentivised young people’s homeownership with tax breaks to save on their down payment.
In neighbouring Brazil, the government’s efforts at tackling inflation included cutting taxes on gas and ethanol, and the distribution of a US$32.4 billion social spending package to boost income for middle-class families. Other examples of countries abound.
In 2022, Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to double. By international prediction, Guyana’s economy this year is projected to grow by 47.2 percent, earning the country the enviable position of being among the world’s fastest growing economies.
The Bank reported Guyana’s economy is projected to record real oil GDP growth of 49.6 percent while the non-oil economy is estimated to grow by 7.5 percent. In 2022, Guyana’s growth includes almost US$1 Billion in oil revenue (US$957.6 Million). Last year, Guyana’s exports to the United States totalled more than US$1 Billion.
Joining with the U.S government last week to celebrate America’s 246th Independence Anniversary and 56th year of diplomatic relationships between the two countries, President Irfaan Ali, in delivering remarks on the occasion, boasted that Guyana, in 2021, earned a whopping US$1.7 Billion from exports alone to the United States.