The Bolivian economy grew by 4.4% in 2018 and is estimated to maintain the same rate of expansion for 2019, a dynamism that places the Andean country, for one more year, among the most powerful in the region, the Commission said today. Economic for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Public investment has been the engine of the Bolivian economy in 2018, although it also highlighted the rate of consumption expansion, Cepal said.
The UN organism presented its Preliminary Balance of the Regional Economy on Thursday in the Chilean capital, in which he explained that the good moment of Bolivia was exemplified in the payment by the Government of a second Christmas bonus in December that will support the growth of household consumption.
The higher oil prices have had a positive impact on the collection of the direct tax on hydrocarbons – which as of October 2018 accumulated a growth of 22% – and, in this way, the fiscal revenues as a whole present an increase of 5, 6% in this period.
These imbalances, the maintenance of a fixed exchange rate in practice and the lower capital flows have resulted in a significant contraction of international reserves during 2018.
The report indicated that per capita GDP will close with an increase of 2.9% in 2018 and inflation close to 1.3%, while unemployment in July 2018 was around 4.1%, and was increased in 3% the minimum wage, which accumulates in the last decade a real increase of more than 130%.
The Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) has maintained a stable nominal exchange rate, which has favored low inflation levels.
The balance of payments will end with a deficit of 1,423 million dollars in the current account and also negative numbers of 332 million in the capital and financial account.
By 2019, the impulse of public investment in infrastructure and energy as well as in the health and education sectors would be maintained, which, together with a sustained growth in consumption, would allow the economy to continue showing an expansion rate similar to that of 2018, with an estimated growth of 4.3%.
In this sense, important investments are being made in the energy area, particularly in generation and electric transmission, which will positively impact the product in 2019.