UPDATE 1-Cuba sees GDP growth slowing to 2 pct in 2016, down from 4 pct

martes 29 de diciembre de 2015 14:54 GYT
 

(New throughout)

By Marc Frank

HAVANA Dec 29 (Reuters) - Cuba has forecast economic growth at 2 percent in 2016, down from 4 percent this year but still favorable considering the world economy, Economy Minister Marino Murillo said on Tuesday.

Murillo was addressing the year-end-session of the National Assembly, from which foreign journalists were barred. His comments were reported by official media.

"To grow in the midst of the current world crisis is positive, and 2 percent in 2016 is also favorable," Prensa Latina news agency quoted Murillo as saying.

The reports made no mention of the crisis gripping strategic ally Venezuela nor the impact of plummeting commodity prices on trade.

Cuba receives more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day as part of an exchange with Venezuela for Cuban doctors and other professionals. Under the deal, Venezuela is protected from falling oil prices, which in turn punish Cuba.

Cuba receives oil on favorable terms from Venezuela and refines and resells some of it in a joint venture with its socialist ally. Prices for refined products are down in tandem with crude.

Venezuela's economy is among the worst performing in the world as the value of its oil exports has fallen as much as 70 percent over the last 18 months.   Continuación...