2. IMF sees positive growth for region
Central America and the Dominican Republic will experience a GDP increase of 2.9% in 2010, below the 4% that is forecast for the rest of Latin America, according to latest estimates by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). At a press conference in San Salvador yesterday, the main advisor at the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, Miguel Savastano, stated that one of the reasons why the Central American countries are not going to grow as much as their continental neighbors is that they are importers of raw materials. During the presentation of the report “Economic Prospects: The Americas making the most of a favorable wind”, with an emphasis on data from Central America and the Dominican Republic, the official said that Latin American would grow at a 4% rate.
The report estimates a growth rate of 4.5% and even higher for countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia, all “net exporters of raw materials”. For the Caribbean, where six months ago the IMF forecast a fall in GDP, he predicted that the region would be near 0% growth at the end of the year. Savastano stressed that in the last half-year they estimated that there would be an average growth rate of 2.5% for Central America in 2010, but that the prospects for recovery from the economic crisis made them rectify the forecast since the United States “is going to grow at a larger rate”, and Asia is recovering quickly.
In April, Central Bank Governor Hector Valdez Albizu had forecast the DR economy would grow 8%.