Although collection of the tax levied on personal property transfers was not good in January and February, the tide began to turn in March, which closed the first quarter of 2009 with a 19.3% increase over the same period last year.
Despite generally maintaining investment and expansion plans, entrepreneurs are cautious and attentive to the evolution of the crisis. Jack Eskenazi, president of the Association of Dealers in Panama, told Martesfinanciero.com that "investors and local businesses are taking steps to reduce investment growth for the next few years, but there are several shopping centers already programmed with a high percentage of sold or rented premises, which are necessary for the country's economic and population growth."
The article discussed the strategies of each sector in order to face the future.
There are many companies and industries celebrating a good 2009 in spite of the crisis, for a variety of reasons.
Statistics from the Bank of Guatemala highlight those sectors with increased sales in 2009, either because their activity is anti-cyclical, or because they transformed the crisis' problems in innovation opportunities.
Business owners estimate that offers and discounts will not be limited to the traditional months of January and September this year.
Without regard to the products they sell, stores are continuing to offer discounts of up to 70%. "The strategy is a way to stimulate consumption at a time when the economy is going through a downturn."
Businesses reported $2.8 billion in taxable sales in February, 3.7% less than during the same period last year.
In the services sector, there was a 6.1% reduction, from $887 million in February 2008 to $838 million during the same month this year.
According to elPeriodico of Guatemala, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Jorge Briz said that "the devaluation of the quetzal is taking away from household purchasing power which then reduces consumption, and he expects that this sales trend will continue."
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