This Week in Costa Rica

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This Week in Costa Rica is a weekly, online radio program and podcast by US expat, Dan Stevens

Filtering by Tag: costa rica economy

WEO Predicts Less Latin American Growth


Costa Rica Business News - The International Monetary Fund cut its economic growth forecast for the Latin America and the Caribbean region, in part due to the area’s terrible infrastructure and lower commodity prices.

This global lender revised their original forecasts down by 0.3 percentage point since their July update.

In its current World Economic Outlook report, they said that these emerging markets were about to see decreased growth because of “less supportive external conditions and domestic supply-side constraints.”

Their suggestions focus on improving sustainability of growth as well as reducing domestic financial volatility. The example in the region is Brazil, according to the IMF. Brazil’s projected growth remains the same as in July. They saw a 7.5 percent GDP growth in 2009 and have been continually expanding little by little.

The country in the “lowest gear” in the region is Argentina,where “activity continues to be constrained by foreign exchange and other administrative controls.”

The organization says that “external current account deficits are projected to widen further in 2013 as commodity prices have softened and domestic demand continues to outpace output.” Slower growth in China could further reduce demand.


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Costa Rica Central Bank Steps Up Dollar Purchases Most Since May

By Adam Williams

Costa Rica’s central bank is buying dollars at the fastest pace in three months after foreign companies brought in cash to pay workers, not because of a return of speculative capital to the country, according to brokerage Aldesa Puesto de Bolsa.


Costa Rica’s central bank bought $41.5 million this week through yesterday, the most since May 17. Dollar purchases have exceeded $750 million this year as policy makers try to rein in the colon, which has led Latin American and Caribbean currencies with a 2 percent gain against the dollar this year.

President Laura Chinchilla, who called speculative capital a “weapon of mass destruction,” backed legislation Congress has yet to take up that would raise reserve requirements on foreign investors and boost taxes on interest paid to them to dissuade some inflows. This week’s rise in dollar purchases is probably not related to speculative capital but wage payments, said Adriana Rodriguez, head of investment strategy at Aldesa.

“The national interest rates remain very low, so it doesn’t make much sense that this is a return of speculative capital when there are larger returns available in other emerging market countries,” Rodriguez said in an interview.

Costa Rica’s basic interest rate fell to 6.55 percent this month from 9.2 percent at the start of the year.

Article publish in Bloomberg Businessweek

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Williams in San Jose, Costa Rica at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at; Andre Soliani at


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