The Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE) reported that imports, between January and October 2020, totalled 5.61 billion dollars, 31% less than what registered in the same period in 2019. All categories experienced decreases in value and volume, except for foreign purchases of food and beverages, which grew in volume by 17% and in amount by 3%, compared to January to October 2019.
As of November 25 of this year, the Net International Reserves (NIR) reach $5.39 billion, a sum that allows covering more than seven months of import of goods and services, which is higher than the international referential threshold of three months.
The National Institute of Statistics (INE) reported that the urban unemployment rate in the month of October reached 8.7%, according to the results of the Continuous Employment Survey (ECE). The figure represents a decrease in the unemployment rate of 1.3% concerning the rate registered in September (10%) and 2.8 percentage points lower than that of July of 11.6%, which was the highest figure recorded in this administration.
The Minister of Public Works, Edgar Montaño, informed this Thursday that 125 million bolivianos ($17.93 mn) would disburse to extend the coverage in telephony, internet and cable television of Entel.
The National Institute of Statistics (INE) reported, this Thursday, that of the total number of people affected in the labour market, due to the effect of COVID-19, 64% are women. It is a rate that deserves the urgent application of an economic policy associated with improving employment for women and young people. The INE explained that the sectors that generated the most significant expulsion of workers linked to the food and restaurant trade, manufacturing industry and construction.
The first semester the Bolivian economy, fell 11.11% due to the impact of the Covid -19. By the end of 2019, it had reached 2.22%. It is a drop of 13.3 percentage points. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the industrial sector registered, as of June 2020, a contraction of 12.76%. In 2019 the industry had a growth rate of 3.19%, so there is a decrease of 15.9 percentage points in six months.
The government stated that a few weeks before Christmas, the unemployment rate is 11.8% and that the pandemic influenced this situation.
In the last 11 months, the Net International Reserves (NIR) fell from $6.47 billion recorded as of December 31, 2019, to $5.15 billion as of November 2020, according to the latest official report of the Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB). This fall is 20.3%, a lower figure than that predicted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Bolivian foreign sales totalled $5.44 billion, 27% less than the same period in 2019. Imports totalled $5.6 billion, 31% less than the same period last year. These values result in a negative trade balance of $168 million.
The regional government of Beni received more than Bs.20 million ($2.89 million) for the recovery of the department after the impact of Covid-19. Of this amount, 50 percent will go to strengthening the health system, 25 percent to food security, and 25 percent to reviving local economies. In this regard, a project to develop fish farming and lizard meat production in 10 local communities stands out.