Guatemala's IMAE: Contradictory Figures

Modifications done by Banguat to the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (IMAE) cast doubt on economic performance.

Monday, August 24, 2009


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Using last year's methodology, the IMAE would imply a recession in Guatemala. But after the calculation was modified, the official figure reports a growth of 1%.

In his analysis of the matter published in The Black Box, Miguel Gutierrez from CABI reports that "Banguat has insisted in using, as reference for economic performance, the average of the past 12 months. This way it mixes GDP growth of past years (when there wasn't a recession), with current GDP. As no other Central Bank uses this methodology, Guatemala's economic performance looks better than other countries".

And he adds: "Some analysts have remarked Banguat role's to be a 'promoter of enthusiasm (...) because the biggest influence on the economy is human emotion'. The lack of credible and realistic information can play a large role in macroeconomic mistakes dragging the country to a longer deeper recession, that has already ended in the developed world. It is logical to lose the macroeconomic course when navigation is done without properly calibrated instruments or indicators. Until the economic information challenge is overcome in Guatemala, the country will continue navigating without economic compass".

More on this topic

Guatemala: Macroeconomic News and Perspectives

November 2013

The Central Bank has presented its analysis of the recent performance of the economy and its arguments for maintaining the leading rate at 5%.

From a report by the Banguat:

"The performance of economic activity remains consistent with the annual estimates of GDP growth (3.2% -3.6%), which is reflected in the dynamism of some short-term indicators such as quarterly GDP, IMAE, means of payment, bank credit to the private sector, the volume of imports and exports and remittances. "

Guatemala: Calculation of IMAE Expanded

June 2013

Included are activities such as transport, storage and communications and the construction sector, indicators which were not fully incorporated in the previous calculation of the Monthly Economic Activity Index (IMAE).

Some of the changes include activities such as transport, storage and communications and the construction sector, since these indicators were not fully incorporated in the above methodology and only disaggregated data was captured for the respective calculation.

El Salvador on the Brink of Recession

March 2009

According to the Central Reserve Bank, the negative growth behavior of most economic indicators put the country on the brink of a recession.

Elsalvador.com published: "In February 2009, there were two consecutive quarters with the negative growth of the Economic Activity Volume Index (IVAE), and other variables with which we measure the country's macroeconomic performance and the trend point to a continual decline.

Guatemala in Statistics 2011

April 2012

Statistical information compiled by the Banco de Guatemala has been released, which includes general indicators of real, external, monetary, financial and fiscal indicators.

"Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 3.9 percent in 2011, according to the latest review by the Bank of Guatemala (Banguat) confirming an improvement in the performance of productive activities."

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