The economy of Suriname posted continued strong growth of 4.5 per cent in 2013 based on positive performance in a number of sectors. Sectors that showed negative growth were agriculture, hunting and fishing (-1.9 per cent) and mining and quarrying (-0.4 per cent), which constitute 8.19 per cent and 5.13 per cent of GDP, respectively. On the other hand, positive growth was led by such sectors as construction, which grew by 14.1 per cent, wholesale and retail trade (8.9 per cent) and hotels and restaurants (8.1 per cent). Government also contributed to growth through as investment and recurrent spending, caused the public sector to grow by 2.8 per cent. Given that general elections are due in May 2015, there is likely to be increased capital spending related to the elections cycle.
In 2014, growth is expected to be positive at about 4.4 per cent, assuming that global economic conditions do not change radically and export prices do not fall significantly. New investments are expected in the gold and oil industries; this will partly compensate for the uncertain outlook in the bauxite sector.
Inflation has continued to be moderate, partly owing to soft commodity prices, and annual inflation was 0.6 per cent at the end of 2013. Inflation in 2014 is likely to rise somewhat (but remain in single digits) because of the imposition of new sales taxes and other taxes to be decided. However, energy costs are likely to fall because of the increased refining of petrochemical products, which will help reduce production costs.
The exchange rate of Suriname has remained within the band established by the Central Bank of Sr$ 3.25-3.35:US$ 1 and the value of the currency is expected to remain stable for the near future. In terms of the balance of payments, the trade surplus narrowed to 4.4 per cent of GDP in 2013 down from 14 per cent of GDP in 2012. This narrowing of the surplus brought the current account balance into deficit of about 3.9 of GDP. (Economic Survey of the Caribbean 2014)