Cuban government recognizes “stressful” economic situation, but highlights reforms – 03/30/2022

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HAvana, March 30 (EFE) — Cuba’s economy remained in a “stressful” state for the month of February, but some indicators improved, according to the country’s presidency in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The export plan was completed last month – with increases compared to January and February 2021 – and agricultural production has increased, although it has not reached planned levels and is “far from satisfying demand”, according to the note.

For its part, tourism – the second largest contributor to gross domestic product (GDP) – is “showing discrete progress”, although it has not yet recovered from the “great recession” of 2020 and 2021, the statement said. .

Foreign tourist numbers in February were a third lower than forecast, although the government still hopes to achieve its target of 2.5 million international visitors.

The note released today also includes an analysis of the last Council of Ministers, which addressed the state of the Cuban economy, which is going through a severe crisis caused by a combination of the pandemic, the tightening of US sanctions and errors in macroeconomic policy.

The country’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel assured that the growth forecast, which forecasts 4% GDP growth for the full year, should be maintained.

With this rate, 2019 levels, before the pandemic, will still not recover, after a 10% contraction in 2020 and progressing to about 2%, which officials predict will be reached in 2021.

The Cuban president ordered that priority be given to measures to “increase production”, “improve the supply of food and medicine”, as well as improve public transport and stabilize the electricity system.

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Diaz-Canel also defended the fight against shortages with the expansion of foreign investment and internal production and distribution measures.

In addition, he was in favor of implementing “anti-inflationary measures”, one of the major problems facing the Cuban economy today, along with scarcity and partial dollarization.

Inter-annual inflation in Cuba last February was 23%. EFE

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