Cuba says GDP re­cov­ers, up about 1 per­cent in 2017

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

HA­VANA: The Cuban gov­ern­ment said Fri­day that the econ­omy is grow­ing again fol­low­ing a de­cline last year that was the first drop re­ported in two decades. Econ­omy Min­is­ter Ri­cardo Cabrisas said at the open­ing ses­sion of the Na­tional As­sem­bly that Cuba’s GDP grew just over 1 per­cent in the first six months of 2017 and is on track to hit an es­ti­mated 2 per­cent for the full year. The re­bound came de­spite the eco­nomic cri­sis in Venezuela, which pro­vides oil and other sup­port to the is­land.

The gov­ern­ment said Cuba’s econ­omy shrank last year by 1 per­cent amid fall­ing help from Venezuela, which is strug­gling with triple-digit in­fla­tion and wide­spread short­ages of food and other ba­sic goods. The de­crease was the first re­ported by Cuba in years. Cuban me­dia quoted Cabrisas as telling the as­sem­bly that in­sta­bil­ity in the sup­ply of Venezue­lan oil weighs on the coun­try’s econ­omy but tourism, con­struc­tion, trans­porta­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions are all grow­ing.

For­eign me­dia were not al­lowed to at­tend the ses­sion, which was presided over by Pres­i­dent Raul Cas­tro. Some growth in tourism is due to the nor­mal­iza­tion of re­la­tions with the U.S. that was started by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and is now threat­ened un­der Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.—AP

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