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LatinNews Daily - 23 April 2021

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In brief: Costa Rica’s central bank warns economic growth below potential

* Costa Rica’s central bank (BCR) has released a new report saying that economic activity remains far below levels registered prior to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The report highlights that the latest monthly economic activity index (Imae) showed a 4.7% decrease in February. It notes that while unemployment has moderated, reaching 18.5% in the December 2020-February 2021 rolling quarter, it is far above the level registered prior to the pandemic. The 18.5% figure was a decrease of six percentage points on the previous rolling quarter (November 2020-January 2021), but represents a 6.3 percentage-point increase on the unemployment rate in the same quarter a year earlier. According to the latest (29 March) World Bank (WB) report, Costa Rica’s GDP shrank by 4.6% in 2020. The WB is forecasting Costa Rica’s GDP will grow 2.6% in 2021.