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LatinNews Daily - 12 January 2021

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In brief: Guatemala’s Q3 GDP indicates economic recovery

* Guatemala’s central bank (Banguat) has released new figures which show that the country’s GDP in the third quarter of 2020 contracted by 1.8% year-on-year. This is an improvement on the 9.6% contraction registered in the second quarter of 2020 as a result of the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The fall in growth in the fourth quarter was driven by food and lodging services (-31% year-on-year); transport and storage (-14.7%); and construction (-8.2%). Sectors that registered positive growth in the third quarter include supply of electricity, water and sanitation, up 8.8% year-on-year; manufacturing (3.0%); and agriculture, livestock, forestry, and fishing (2.8%). Last week Guatemala’s economy ministry forecast that GDP shrunk 2% in 2020 – less than the 3.5% contraction forecast in March 2020. The economy ministry highlights that this places Guatemala as the country with the best economic performance in Latin America in 2020, highlighting that the International Monetary Fund ranks it first in Latin America in terms of economic growth forecasts for 2020, followed by Paraguay (-4%) and Uruguay (-4.5%).