Preliminary data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) reflect a 5.6% contraction in the Bolivian economy during the cumulative period from January to April 2020. The World Bank predicted that the Bolivian economy would contract by 5.9% this year due to the effect of the pandemic, and the INE data seems to confirm this trend.
According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), until May, external sales of minerals reached $482.6 million, the figure represents a fall of 47.2% over the same period in 2019, which reached $913 million. The main products that decreased in exports were zinc in 51.6%, silver in 36.7% and lead in 48.4%.
Mining exports fell 47.2%
The country’s private universities record a 35% dropout rate in the first semester, due to the impossibility of maintaining internet payments for virtual classes. The National Association of Private Universities (ANUP) reports that 29 of the 36 affiliates had to take out bank loans to pay salaries, virtual classroom licenses and other expenses. Failure to comply with these obligations would mean stopping the training of more than 200,000 university students in the country.
The stoppage of productive activities due to the coronavirus pandemic will cause the closure of 2.7 million formal businesses in Latin America, most of them micro-businesses, which will imply the destruction of 8.5 million jobs, ECLAC said Thursday. COVID-19 will cause the worst recession in history in Latin America. The contraction of regional GDP expects to reach 5.3% in 2020, and the poverty rate will grow up from 30.3% to 34.7% of the population.
Tecnopor SA, one of the country’s leading manufacturers of expanded polystyrene and pre-stressed beams, dismissed 52 of 72 workers from its La Paz branch. The company took this action because its sales fell by 75% due to the coronavirus pandemic.