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Haiti : According to CEPAL, there was growth in 2005


Posted on Friday 16 December 2005

Translated from French by Max Blanchet

P-au-P., 16 Dec. 05 [AlterPresse] --- The economy grew by 1.5% during 2005 while it shrank by 3.8% in 2004 according to a report issued on December 15 by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL.)

In spite of the growth in GDP, for the sixth year in a row it remains substantially lower than was projected according to CEPAL’s report.

Among the factors that explain this situation, the report mentions the slow pace of disbursement of foreign assistance and the negative impact of the increase in the price of petroleum.

According to CEPAL, investment and consumption have remained modest during the year that is ending while there has been an increase in exports (6.9%) attributable to a certain "dynamism" of the export industries.

According to that document entitled, "Preliminary Assessment of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean," importations experienced a moderate growth of 2.2%.

The growth of 1.5% stems essentially from the positive difference between exportation and importation while investments grew by 0.5%.

The report also notes the decrease in the inflation rate of 5 percentage points; it now stands at 15.2%.

Among the productive sectors that tend to be reactivated are electricity production (41% growth) and to a lesser extent the construction sector.

The report stresses that the unstable political situation represents one of the predominant factors shaping the behavior of the Haitian economy.

According to the report, Haiti has received to date 567 million dollars of the 1 billion dollars promised by the international community in July 2004.

A passing grade was given to the interim government in terms of its management of the economy. "The goals set with regard to fiscal deficit, monetary control, inflation and net international reserves seem to have been achieved with a relative success," notes the report.

This timid recovery has not been felt by the population and social sectors have not stopped clamoring during 2005 for a reduction in the price of petroleum products, basic commodities and school fees. [gp apr 16/12/2005 22:00]