Monday, January 26, 2009

Fuentes: Guatemala Not In Deep Economic Crisis

At a recent economic conference held in Paris, Guatemala's Finance Minister, Juan Alberto Fuentes, said that Guatemala is facing difficulties because of the economic slowdown of its export partners but is not experiencing a profound crisis.

The Bank of Guatemala projects economic growth for 2009 of 3 percent, against 4 percent in 2008 and 5.5 percent in 2007. There are more positives than negatives said Fuentes at
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) event in Paris. "...prudent macroeconomic policy and our financial system that is not integrated into the global system have helped maintain stability," he added.

Guatemala's inflation rate peaked at 9.4 percent in 2008, its highest rate in 12 years, largely due to increases in the prices of fuel and other raw materials, although in recent months the rate fell.


The three key indicators of economic activity in Guatemala, tourism, exports, and remittances received from Guatemalans working abroad, all showed slowdowns.
Almost 40 percent of Guatemala's exports, such as textiles, coffee, bananas, and non-traditional agricultural products such as plants, flowers and fruits, go to the United States, and that is a concern.

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