Costa Rica: Economic activity remains virtually unchanged in September
November 12, 2010
In September, economic activity increased 3.1% over the same month last year, according to the monthly index of economic activity (IMAE, indice Mensual de Actividad Economica). The reading was broadly in line with the revised 3.2% expansion observed in August (previously reported: +3.3% year-on-year) and reflected contractions in the manufacturing and construction sectors, which helped to offset improvements in the commerce and hotels sectors. A month-on-month comparison suggests that the recovery is losing momentum. Economic activity rose just 0.32% in seasonally adjusted terms over the previous month, which was down from the 0.35% expansion recorded in August. Based on monthly figures, in the third quarter, the economy expanded 3.2% over the same period last year, which represents a slowdown compared to GDP growth of 3.7% recorded in the second quarter. Nonetheless, the trend continues to point upwards, as the annual average growth in economic activity rose from 4.2% in August to 4.4% in September, the highest level since October 2008. The Central Bank projects the economy to expand 4.0% this year and 3.9% in 2011.