San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican companies expect to increase production, not jobs

A study released Monday by the Costa Rican Chamber of Industries of 200 local firms found that 65.7 percent expect to increase production in 2013, while only 6.3 percent expect to produce less.

Despite the optimistic outlooks, the study shows a decrease in job creation compared to the previous year. The results indicate that 60.7 percent expect to maintain their payroll as is, while 28.3 percent plan to increase it and 6.3 percent are considering layoffs.

Regarding investment plans for this year, 56 percent of companies responded that they planned to invest, but most will spend on machinery and equipment for less than $100,000.

The country’s largest firms are less positive, and factors they say will affect competitiveness include electricity costs, exchange rate instability, high employee benefits costs and competition from informal companies. They also cited excessive bureaucracy, poor access to bank credit and high raw material costs.

Regarding 2012, 75 percent of companies surveyed thought it was a “relatively good” year, while the remaining 25 percent considered it a modest year.

Contact L. Arias at

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