Services Boost Economic Activity

In Costa Rica, the Monthly Economic Activity Index reported a 1.8% year-on-year increase in March, and business, education, health and financial services accounted for 60% of the increase.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Compared with March 2018, most economic activities moderated their growth, which was reflected in the deceleration of the overall indicator. The agricultural industry and trade were the only ones to show a decline, explains a report by the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR).

The document states that "... Particularly, agricultural activity contracted for the sixth consecutive month (-1.2% in the month under review), as a result of supply shocks, mainly associated with: i) the El Niño phenomenon, which caused a significant decrease in rainfall in the province of Limón and maintained a predominantly dry condition throughout the country; ii) the increase in the exportable production of pineapple from the Philippines and Thailand, which led to a drop in international prices and a reduction in the number of hectares cultivated in our country. The products with the greatest reduction are pineapple and banana, and to a lesser extent onion, chayote and vegetable crops.

Manufacturing grew 0.7%, because of the good performance of the special regime companies (7.8%), particularly in the production of medical devices (catheters, transfusion equipment and breast implants). In contrast, the companies of the final regime decreased their activity (-3.3%), mainly those related to the production of paper products and beverages.

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In the context of the crisis generated by the outbreak of covid-19 and after reporting a -9% year-on-year variation in July, in August the IMAE registered a smaller reduction by contracting 8% compared to the same month in 2019.

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While in June the production of special regime companies increased 10% with respect to the same month in 2018, companies operating outside those regimes grew just 0.3%.

The Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) reported that the production of special regimes (SR) companies grew 10.2% in June compared to the same month last year, as a result of increased external demand for medical implements, computer and business services.

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During January 2019, the Monthly Index of Economic Activity in Costa Rica reported a 1.6% year-on-year increase, which is less than the 3.2% recorded in the same month last year.

With the exception of construction, all economic activities were less dynamic than in January 2018. The Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) reported that agricultural activity and trade showed negative variations.

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During November 2018, the Monthly Index of Economic Activity in the country reported a 2% year-on-year increase, which is less than the 3% increase recorded in October last year.

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