Editorial from Pagina Siete, graph from IBCE through Infobae:
As it had not happened before, the government has moderated its optimism regarding the economy. During the presentation of the Financial Fiscal Program 2019, the Economy Minister, Luis Arce, has released the word “uncertainty”, although he has attributed it to the international variables that, he said, could have an impact on the national macroeconomic performance.
A whole change, taking into account that in his previous period, Arce himself talked about the shielding of the Bolivian economic model and a bonanza attributable mainly to government management.
Despite this not very encouraging scenario, the authority has indicated that all efforts and adjustments will be made, within the framework of national sovereignty, so that the growth of the economy stands at 4.5%.
That is the magic percentage that forces employers to pay the double Christmas bonus to their workers. In an election year like this 2019, the government could not afford to eliminate a measure also of an electoral nature.
But, it should be noted that his predecessor, Mario Guillén, had left the projection of growth at 4.7%. Arce makes a more conservative calculation, but not so much as to break the optimism of the employees who benefit from the second Christmas bonus.
But that is not all. Another indicator that has suffered a significant variation is the fiscal deficit, which has risen from 6.98%, which was a goal set by the 2019 Budget, at 7.8%. It seems a contradiction, then, that the Minister speaks of uncertainty, but decides to continue spending as in good times, so much that it raises the forecast of the deficit, that negative indicator that has been pursuing the country for six years.
But, not only that, but the Government announced that $1,215 million dollars of international reserves will be used in investment projects, which by the way are in free fall. The president of the Confederation of Private Entrepreneurs of Bolivia, Ronald Nostas, warned that the decrease in reserves may be much higher than expected, since so far this year the BCB has already lost $400 million dollars in reserves.
If the linear trend continues, Nostas said, at the end of 2019, these could be at $4,800 million dollars and at the end of 2020, at $2,900 million dollars, a risk for the country.
As can be seen, the new indicators are contradictory with the new economic reality of the country. It will be a difficult year, but the Government will continue to spend money. It could not be otherwise, in the case of an election year.