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Unemployment rises to 7.3%

The urban unemployment rate in Bolivia rose from 5.8% to 7.3% between March and April as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The index came out of the monitoring and analysis on the impact of Covid-19 on the national economy.

Government sees GDP contraction of 5.9%, its lowest level ever

The Government estimates that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will contract by 5.9% by the end of the year, the lowest level in the country’s history, due to the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB) indicated that cumulative inflation to May was 1.2% and expected to remain below the expected margin of 3.4% until year-end.

Government will invest $4.3bn to protect 4.5 million jobs

Bolivia’s government presented an economic reactivation plan, which contemplates the preservation and creation of 4.5 million jobs through the investment of 30 billion Bolivians ($4.3 bn). The Direct Job Creation Plan aims to create 50 thousand jobs per month. The municipalities will be able to present their projects to accompany the state plan.

Bolivia had a $102 mn trade deficit in April and May

Bolivia register a cumulative $102.25 million trade deficit in April and May. In April, the negative balance was $57 million, while in May, the trade deficit reached $45.25 million. The Bolivian state coffers are highly dependent on exports of products such as natural gas and minerals, which represent up to 81% of the country’s sales abroad.

The government will transfer $40.1 mn to local governments until July 3

The national government committed to transfer until July 3, Bs 279,390,000 ($40.1 mn) from the COVID-19 Fund to 340 Autonomous Municipal Governments and Autonomous Indigenous Original Peasant Governments of Bolivia. This Fund is additional to the Law for the Recovery of 12% of the Direct Tax on Hydrocarbons (IDH) for the Autonomous Territorial Entities and Universities, which will benefit them with the return of $200 million.

Medical equipment imports up 20% by 2020

Imports of medical equipment increased in the first four months of this year by 24 per cent over the same period last year. However, between January and April 2020, the country imported 2.8 million kilos of medicines for 74 million dollars, 1 per cent less than in 2019.