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    Cuba says economy will grow 4 pct. in 1st half of 2015

    Cuba says economy will grow 4 pct. in 1st half of 2015
    Published June 22, 2015

    Cuba’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow around 4 percent in the
    first half of this year, state media reported Monday, citing government
    estimates.

    “The economy has a good rate of growth. We have the conditions to finish
    the year in good shape, but we have to keep working hard,” Economy and
    Planning Minister Marino Murillo told the Council of Ministers during a
    meeting last Friday.

    The government has set a 4 percent GDP growth target for this year after
    the island’s economy grew just 1.3 percent in 2014, or nearly a
    percentage point below the initial estimate.

    The balance of trade has had a “positive” performance in the first half
    of this year, but there are “tensions in the external finances,” Murillo
    said.

    All sectors of the economy grew in the January-June period, especially
    sugar, manufacturing, construction and trade, while the transportation,
    warehouse and communications sectors underperformed.

    Supplies of some agricultural products, such as cheese, chicken, cold
    cuts, ground beef and sausages, were unstable due to production
    problems, forcing the government to spend $40 million to purchase these
    products.

    Most of the investment planned for the year will take place in the
    second half, but a shortfall of 7.7 percent is expected.

    President Raul Castro’s government expects the budget deficit for the
    year to be the equivalent of 4.2 percent of GDP, well below the forecast
    of 6.2 percent of GDP.

    Castro has launched an overhaul of Cuba’s economy, implementing a
    limited opening for private business ventures and boosting efforts to
    attract foreign investment.

    The forecast for 4 percent economic growth comes as Cuba and the United
    States work to restore diplomatic relations after a rupture of more than
    five decades. EFE

    Source: Cuba says economy will grow 4 pct. in 1st half of 2015 | Fox
    News Latino –
    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/06/22/cuba-says-economy-will-grow-4-pct-in-1st-half-2015/