Rodríguez en route to low inflation
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BANKING

Rodríguez en route to low inflation

Miguel Angel Rodríguez was elected president of Costa Rica on one of the most reformist platforms the country has ever seen. One year into office he talks about how to end inflation, the difficulties of pushing through privatization and how soon Costa Rica should embrace the dollar.

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Costa Rica at a glance Population: 3.5 million Currency: colón GDP: $9.9 billion GDP per capita: $2,830 Total banking sector assets: $4.8 billion Total banking sector capital: $320 million Outstanding government debt: $6.4 billion Sovereign foreign currency rating: Ba1/BB+ Foreign currency reserves: $1.1 billion Money in circulation (M1): $1.2 billion 1996 1997 1998 GDP growth (% year-on-year): -0.6 3.7 6.2 Inflation (% year-on-year): 17.5 13.2 12.3 Current account balance (% of GDP): -2.5 -2.3 -2.8 Fiscal balance (% of GDP): 5.3 3.9 3.2 Currency units to $: 219 244 270 Source: Banco Central de Costa Rica What have been the main achievements of your first year in office?

We have tried to ensure that we continue the strong rate of economic growth we inherited from the previous government. The economy was starting to grow as it came out of the 1995/96 recession. What we had to do was push to keep this rate of growth strong and improving and at the same time make adjustments with less of a social cost.


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