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Costa Rica finance officials see rise for world economy

July 24, 2009

The heads of the Finance Ministry and Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) announced Tuesday that the economy is showing signs of recovery in the midst of the economic crisis.

Francisco de Paula Gutiérrez, executive president of the Central Bank, explained several reasons for economic optimism, including an anticipated 2.5 percent increase in the global gross domestic product (GDP) in the month of July, an expected increase in slumping tourism and a shrinking deficit.

The announcement came at the “State of the Economy Review,” organized by the Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM).

“We are in a much better place than we were 18 months ago,” Gutiérrez said. “The recovery from the crisis is not over, though the final six months of this year should show much improvement from the first half.”

Gutiérrez compared GDP figures from June and July and explained that, after the global GDP fell 1.4 percent in June, production and consumption levels worldwide were projected to improve in the month of July, and that the global GDP will have grown an anticipated 2.5 percent for the month. The GDP in Costa Rica fell 4.9 percent in the first six months of 2009.

Gutiérrez also commented on slumping tourism and hotel revenues, and explained that as the global economy improves, so will revenue in the tourism sector.

Guillermo Zúñiga, the Costa Rican finance minister, reinforced the feeling of economic optimism, explaining that a rise in production and manufacturing will bolster the economy through increased investment and the creation of more jobs. Zúñiga alluded to the port of Limón, which has received an $80 million investment in infrastructure and development, and mentioned hopes for further infrastructure investments in upcoming months.

Zúñiga also stated that the nation´s balance of payments is in a healthy position and that an accumulated $710 million dollars in reserves has provided breathing room in case of need.

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