GDP in Costa Rica

Costa Rica GDP | Economic News & Forecasts

Costa Rica - GDP

Economic growth slows in the first quarter

The economy grew at the slowest rate in three years in the first quarter of the year, according to GDP data released by the Central Bank on 29 June. In non-adjusted terms, the economy grew 2.6% in Q1 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier, down from 3.1% in Q4 2017, mainly because of a weak performance in fixed investment.

Private consumption increased 2.7% in Q1 year-on-year, matching the expansion recorded in Q4. This came despite an increase in unemployment to 11.3% from 9.3% in Q4, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census of Costa Rica, and continued economic pessimism among consumers, according to the University of Costa Rica. Meanwhile, government consumption dynamics were also unchanged in Q1 from Q4, with growth stable at 2.9%. Fixed investment contracted 4.1% in Q1 compared to the same period a year earlier (Q4: -5.5% year-on-year). This represented the fourth consecutive quarter of falling fixed investment and was likely due to political uncertainty in the run-up to this year’s elections and higher interest rates.

Year-on-year growth in exports of goods and services accelerated to 5.4% in Q1 from 1.8% in Q4. Imports of goods and services contracted 2.1% Q1, contrasting the 3.0% growth recorded in Q4. Because of these dynamics, the external sector contributed 2.7 percentage points to economic growth in Q1, an upward swing from the 0.5 percentage-point deduction in Q4.

Looking ahead, the economy will be significantly affected by what the newly elected president and politicians can do to reduce the fiscal deficit. In 2017, the deficit grew to 6.1% of GDP, the largest on record. If the government can pass reforms through the politically fractured Legislative Assembly to manage spending and raise revenues, investors should become more confident about reaching into their pockets, supporting fixed investment. One such reform is the bill for the Strengthening of Public Finances, which has been making its way through the assembly for more than two years now. It was recently granted a fast-track by politicians due to the widely acknowledged urgency of the fiscal situation.

The Central Bank expects the economy to record growth of 3.6% in 2018 and 3.9% in 2019. The analysts Met the why particular surveyed this month forecast growth of 3.4% on average in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s projection, and 3.5% in 2019.

Costa Rica - GDP Data

2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.3  3.5  3.6  4.2  3.2  

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Costa Rica GDP Chart


Costa Rica GDP
Note: Annual variation of gross domestic product (GDP) in %.
Source: Costa Rica Central Bank and Met the why particular calculations.

Costa Rica Facts

ValueChangeDate
Exchange Rate567.5-0.57 %Aug 07

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