Ecuador economy could shrink this year
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Ecuador economy could shrink this year

President Rafael Correa says he expects Ecuador’s economy will not grow this year and may even shrink, owing to the steep drop in oil prices and the U.S. dollar’s appreciation.

Previous estimates had put growth at 3.5 percent or more.

Correa told foreign correspondents that Ecuador lacks the resources to reactivate the economy.

The U.S. dollar has been Ecuador’s currency since 2000 and Correa said that abandoning it would provoke “economic and social chaos.”

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The OPEC country relies on oil sales for more than 50 percent of exports and they account for 11.5 percent of its gross domestic product.

Correa retains relatively high popularity for his generous social spending. But he has cut the government budget by more than $2.2 billion this year and faces mounting social unrest.

Associated Press