Western Hemisphere > Guyana

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Ms. Rina Bhattacharya
International oil producers have discovered commercially recoverable petroleum reserves of around 11 billion barrels that promise to transform Guyana's agricultural and mining economy into an oil powerhouse, while hopefully helping to diversify the non-oil economy. Oil production presents a momentous opportunity to boost inclusive growth and diversify the economy providing resources to address human development needs and infrastructure gaps. At the same time, it presents important policy challenges relating to effective and prudent management of the nation’s oil wealth. This study focusses on one of these challenges: the appropriate monetary policy and exchange rate framework for Guyana as it transitions to a major oil exporter.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Following the pandemic-induced recession in 2020, economic growth recovered in 2021, with non-oil GDP growth reaching 4.6 percent, despite being negatively impacted by floods. Inflation increased markedly since 2021 owing to the floods and supply-side disruptions, as well as continually rising fuel and food prices. Oil production increased and will ramp up substantially over the medium term.
International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.


This volume documents decisions, interpretations, and resolutions of the Executive Board and Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund, as well as documents relating to the United Nations and other international organizations.

Matteo Ruzzante and Nelson Sobrinho
This paper investigates the dynamic impact of natural resource discoveries on government debt sustainability. We use a ‘natural experiment’ framework in which the timing of discoveries is treated as an exogenous source of within-country variation. We combine data on government debt, fiscal stress and debt distress episodes on a large panel of countries over 1970-2012, with a global repository of giant oil, gas, and mineral discoveries. We find strong and robust evidence of a ‘fiscal presource curse’, i.e., natural resources can jeopardize fiscal sustainability even before ‘the first drop of oil is pumped’. Specifically, we find that giant discoveries, mostly of oil and gas, lead to permanently higher government debt and, eventually, debt distress episodes, specially in countries with weaker political institutions and governance. This evidence suggest that the curse can be mitigated and even prevented by pursuing prudent fiscal policies and borrowing strategies, strengthening fiscal governance, and implementing transparent and robust fiscal frameworks for resource management.