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Costa Rica’s Central Bank figures indicate economy in recession

February 13, 2009

Costa Rica´s economy took a dive for the third consecutive quarter, according to recently released Central Bank figures, in a downturn economists say means the country has entered a recession.

Aldesa, an economic consulting firm, said Thursday in a daily report “the deteriorating conditions at the international level, in addition to the impossibility of adopting a monetary policy and an expansive fiscal policy, are some of the elements that will continue to weigh down the Costa Rican economy.”

“By our criteria,” the Aldesa report said, “the economy finds itself in a recession.”

Manufacturing industries and tourism were hit the hardest during the last three quarters, marking 17 percent and 6.2 percent decreases respectively, according to the Central Bank´s monthly economic activity index (IMAE).

Overall productivity saw a 44 percent decrease, significantly higher than the same period in 2007, when a 16 percent drop in production was registered.

The agricultural sector registered a decrease in the production of melon (cantaloupe) and bananas, where weather conditions as well as diseases caused a slowdown in exports of these two products. Falling demand abroad for these products does not indicate any improvement later this year.

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