LatinNews Daily - 25 March 2021

In brief: Nicaragua’s GDP shrinks for a third consecutive year

* Nicaragua’s central bank (BCN) has released new figures which show the country’s GDP contracted 2% in 2020. This is the third consecutive year of contraction after declines of 3.7% in 2019 and 3.4% in 2018 as a result of the political crisis stemming from the government led by President Daniel Ortega’s crackdown on its opponents, which began in April 2018. The 2020 contraction owes to the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and damage caused by hurricanes 'Eta' and 'Iota' which struck in November 2020. According to the BCN, GDP in the fourth quarter of 2020 contracted by 1.9%. In 2020 the main sectors affected were: hotels & restaurants (-32.5%); electricity (-17.1%); financial intermediation services (-11.5%); transport & communications (-7.6%); and fishing (-5.6%). Sectors which registered growth include construction (11.7%); trade (4.9%); and mining & quarries (3.3%). BCN president, Ovidio Reyes, said he expected Nicaragua’s economy will grow by 2.5%-3.5% in 2021.

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