Thursday 26 February 2009, San JosÚ, Costa Rica

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Recession Likely in Central America This Year
Decrease of Crime Predicted in Guatemala
More Aid Requested for Colombia Flood Victims
More Colombian Figures Spying Demands
Ecuador Carnival Death Toll At 23

Recession Likely in Central America This Year

Central America may be hit by recession in 2009 if world economic situation further deteriorates, warns a report of the Monetary Council of the isthmus released in Guatemala on Tuesday.

The document says that international crisis is quickly hitting the region by a fall in exports, remittances, tourism and foreign direct investment.

According to projections in the text, Central American economy will be less dynamic this year, growing 0-1 percent, but if situation worsens, the Gross Domestic Product will contract to -1.6 percent.

Here in Guatemala, several sectors have seriously deteriorated, including trade, with an increase of barely 0.45 percent in 2008 against 14.8 reached in 2007. "There is an obvious economic slowdown, less consumption because of low purchasing power affecting the sector," said Jorge Briz, president of the Chamber of Commerce.

Other sectors with negative impact were industry, with a 3.7 percent growth last year, well below 21.5 percent registered in 2007, and construction, with 15.6 percent against 60.3 percent.
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