Tourism and export sectors show strong first quarter

April 23, 2010

An overall strong showing by the Costa Rican economy during the first quarter of 2010 was underscored by figures showing significant growth in the export and tourism sectors. Furthermore, a representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated during a visit to the country that “economic recovery in Costa Rica is firmly underway”.

Marco Piñon, the IMF mission chief for Costa Rica, visited the country during the second week of April to conduct the third and final review of the IMF´s $ 735 million Stand-By Arrangement with the Costa Rican government, a line of credit approved by the agency in April 2009 to “support the country´s strategy to cope with the adverse global economic environment.” During his weeklong visit, Piñon said that thanks to strong financial and business resurgence in the first few months of the year, the Costa Rican economy stands in good shape for 2010.

“Economic growth rose in the second half of 2009 and remained strong in the first quarter of 2010,” Piñon said. “Consumer and business sentiment have firmed up and financial conditions have continued to improve. … The government´s strategy to shield the economy from external shocks with (IMF) funds, which in the event were not used, helped preserve confidence, maintain stability, and protect the most vulnerable groups. A supportive fiscal policy has provided a boost to the recovery and a cautious monetary policy has allowed inflation to move to low levels.”

On Wednesday, the positive outlook was reinforced by an announcement by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) that 65,800 more tourists visited the country during the first three months of 2010 than during the same period in 2009, an 11.5 percent improvement over last year. The ICT estimates that over 636,000 tourists visited the country in the first three months of 2010.

Further evidence of the recovery was provided by the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER), which reported on Wednesday that national exports during the first three months of 2010 increased 16.8 % in comparison with the first quarter of 2009. Through the first three months of the year, the country raked in over $2.4 billion in exports, $352 million more than during the first quarter of 2009. A 463 percent improvement in sugar sales was the biggest highlight of the export sector. Sugar exports accounted for $29 million more during the first three months of 2010 than during the same period last year.

You may be interested

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact
Weather
892 views
Weather
892 views

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact

John McPhaul - December 12, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica
Weather
3218 views
Weather
3218 views

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica

Katherine Stanley - December 12, 2017

High winds claimed the life of a fourth victim in Costa Rica as the cold front that has been moving…

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie
Keylor Navas
797 views
Keylor Navas
797 views

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie

AFP - December 11, 2017

Real Madrid's first foray into the January transfer market will be to snap up Athletic Bilbao's promising goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga,…