Ecuadorian economy fell 5.6% in first quarter, central bank says
QUITO, June 30 (Reuters) – Ecuador’s economy contracted 5.6% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period a year earlier, the country’s central bank said on Wednesday, the latest sign of the impact of the pandemic and associated restrictions. over the Andean country.
The main factors were a drop in public spending, a drop in investment and a drop in household consumption from January to March, said the central bank. The comparable period in 2020 took place primarily before the implementation of the coronavirus restrictions on March 12.
“The first quarter year-to-year results still reflect an economic contraction due to the spread of the coronavirus in the first three months of the year,” central bank chief executive Guillermo Avellan told reporters.
Still, the bank said economic activity picked up 0.7% from the fourth quarter of last year. The entity expects the South American nation’s economy to grow 2.8 percent in 2021 as long as a $ 6.5 billion funding deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) remains intact .
The recovery also depends on the success of the government roll-out of immunization.
President Guillermo Lasso, who took office on May 24 after an economic contraction of 7.8%, seeks to stimulate private investment in the key oil sector to grow the economy. He also pledged to vaccinate 9 million people against COVID-19 during his first 100 days in office.
Ecuador’s central bank predicts 2.8% growth rebound in 2021
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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