Costa Rica: Economy remains robust in third quarter
January 3, 2011
In the third quarter, GDP added 3.9% over the same period last year. The figure came in virtually unchanged from the 4.0% increase recorded in the second quarter (previously reported: +3.7% year-on-year). Total consumption remained unchanged from the 3.6% increase recorded in the second quarter while gross fixed investment contracted 1.2% over the same period last year, contrasting the 6.8% expansion recorded in the second quarter. However, inventories improved substantially, as businesses restocked their supplies. Exports decelerated while imports accelerated compared with the previous quarter. Exports of goods and services expanded 1.5%, down from the 4.4% expansion recorded in the second quarter, while imports increased 20.7% (Q2: +12.9% yoy). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth deteriorated from minus 3.5 percentage points in the second quarter to a 8.4 percentage-point detraction in the third. At the sector level, the expansion was the result of a 5.0% growth in the services sector. On the other hand, the industrial sector registered a flat reading and the agricultural sector decelerated over the same period last year. The Central Bank estimates the economy to expand 4.3% this year and to grow 4.5% in 2012.