Guatemala: GDP accelerates in 2011
February 20, 2012
According to preliminary estimates from the Central Bank, GDP expanded 3.8% in the full year 2011. the figure was up from the 2.8% increase registered in 2010 (previously reported: +2.6% year-on-year) and marked, in fact, the fastest pace since 2007. The acceleration in 2011 was driven by improving external demand, as domestic demand moderated somewhat (2010: +5.4% year-on-year; 2011: +4.3% yoy). Total consumption slowed from a 4.5% expansion in 2010 to a 4.1% increase in 2011, while gross fixed investment climbed 4.7%, after adding a paltry 0.4% in 2010. Exports of goods and services, which benefited from rising commodity prices and stronger economic growth in Guatemala's main trading partners, accelerated from a 4.4% increase in 2010 to an 8.6% expansion in 2011. On the other hand, imports slowed markedly from a 12.4% expansion in 2010 to an 8.7% rise in 2011. As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth improved from minus 3.0 percentage points in 2010 to minus 1.0 percentage points in 2011. Meanwhile, the Central Bank expects the economy to grow between 2.9% and 3.3% this year and between 3.5% and 3.9% in 2013.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist