Ecuador’s economy will remain in recession in 2017 and 2018, according to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest growth forecast.
In its report “Global Economic Prospects” released on Tuesday, the IMF projects that the Ecuadorian economy will contract by 1.6% in 2017 and by 0.3% in 2018.
The numbers contradict predictions by President Rafael Correa and Ecuador’s Central Bank (ECB) that the country has recovered from the recession. Two weeks ago, Correa said that the country has “technically” emerged from recession. He cited the ECB forecast of 1.42% growth in 2017 following an official contraction of 1.5% in 2016. The IMF put 2016 negative growth at 2.2%.
Correa has criticized IMF predictions in the past, claiming that it consistently underestimates Ecuador’s growth.
According to the IMF, Latin America’s worst performing economy in 2017 will be Venezuela, a distinction the country has held for three consecutive years. IMF predicts negative performance of 7.4% this year for Venezuela, followed by a drop of 4.1% in 2018.