San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Central America Economy to Grow 3.1 Percent, Says IMF

Central America is emerging from the global financial crisis and will see expected economic growth of 3.1 percent this year and 3.7 percent in 2011, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.

Costa Rica’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow this year at a tick of 3.8 percent and next year at 4.2 percent, according to the IMF.

In its World Economic Outlook, released last week, the IMF said the economic growth of the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region as a whole is set to outpace previous estimates, raising its projection to 5.7 percent for this year – up from its July forecast of 4.8 percent.

However, the publication pointed out that Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean countries are more vulnerable than others in the LAC to weak economic conditions in the U.S. Tourism and remittance flows from the North American powerhouse could remain slow, as U.S. GDP could increase just 2.6 percent this year, the IMF said.

The U.S. Department of Commerce adjusted that country’s second quarter growth down to 1.7 percent, from an initial projection of 2.4 percent.

The IMF’s forecasts comprise real GDP, figures that are adjusted for price changes.

Looking at Central America’s consumer prices, the IMF report predicts increases of 3.9 percent this year and 4.1 percent for 2011.

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