The unit of currency is the Guyanese dollar (G$), which is divided into 100 cents. The Guyanese dollar became a floating currency in 1991 in order to curb the large-scale illegal trade in foreign currency. It then depreciated rapidly from G$40=US$1 in 1990 to G$143=US$1 at the start of 1995. The value of the Guyanese dollar held steady from 1995 to 1997. It began to fall again in 1998 due to falling commodity prices and domestic political uncertainty. By mid-2001 it had depreciated to G$180.5=US$1. The depreciation meant that, as compared with 1990, imported goods cost over 4 times as much. There has been a major push to make do with locally produced substitutes for imports. For exports,
|Exchange rates: Guyana|
|Guyanese dollars (G$) US$1|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|
|GDP per Capita (US$)|
|SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.|
the revenue in Guyanese dollars for producing a kilogram of gold became more than 4 times greater, providing a major incentive to produce more for export.