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LatinNews Daily - 22 January 2019

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In brief: Costa Rica

* Costa Rica’s finance ministry has released new figures which show the country’s fiscal deficit closed at 6% of GDP in 2018, down from the 7.2% forecast. The fiscal deficit closed at 6.2% of GDP in 2017. In a statement Finance Minister Rocío Aguilar said that the results were the product of “unprecedented decisions to contain spending, actions against fiscal evasion and efficiency promoted by this administration as well as the approval of the law for the strengthening of public finances”. Back in December 2018 the government led by President Carlos Alvarado pushed through a fiscal reform, due to come into force on 1 July 2019, which, among other things, replaces the current 13% sales tax with a 13% value-added tax (VAT) and increases the number of products and services to be taxed.