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LatinNews Daily - 09 March 2021

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In brief: Guatemala’s central bank president upbeat on growth

* Guatemala’s central bank (Banguat) president Sergio Recinos has said that Banguat is forecasting that Guatemala’s GDP will grow 3.5% in 2021, after contracting 1.5% in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. He also said that Guatemala was the Latin American country least affected by the pandemic from an economic perspective according to figures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Recinos said that measures to contain the virus and limit mobility were not as drastic and did not last as long as in other countries and so did not have as negative an impact on economic activity. He also said that the government acted quickly, citing as an example the fact that Guatemala was one of the first countries to make it obligatory to wear face masks in public places. However, the country has the third highest number of infections in Central America (with 178,770 confirmed cases) and highest number of fatalities (6,479) as of yesterday.