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Weekly Report - 3 July 2008 (ISSN 1741-7422)

TRACKING TRENDS

COSTA RICA | Trade deficit balloons. Costa Rica's trade balance in the first five months of 2008 was US$2.27bn, 94% more than the same period last year, as imports continue to outstrip exports. Imports increased by 20% in the first five months of the year to US$6.43bn; exports were up by just 7.8% to US$4.16bn. The main problem is a fall in exports to the US (although this is offset slightly by a 16.6% increase in exports to the European Union), as well as a sharp increase in imports from China and a huge jump in the imported fuel bill. President Oscar Arias said that practically all the revenue raised from tourism, banana and coffee exports will have to be used to cover a fuel bill that has doubled in the space of a year.

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