Bolivia posts first quarterly trade deficit in 11 years
LA PAZ May 7 (Reuters) - Bolivia posted its first quarterly trade deficit in 11 years in the first three months of 2015 due to the global fall in oil, mineral and agricultural prices, the Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute (IBCE) said on Thursday.
Exports totaled $2.317 billion in the first quarter, some $886 million less than in the same period of last year, while imports dropped 53 million to $2.353 billion, yielding a trade deficit of $36 million, the IBCE said.
"The drop in international prices for the products the country exports, in addition to ongoing restrictions on the exports of food... and serious problems in certain markets like Venezuela do not augur a promising 2015 for Bolivian exports," the institute added.
Bolivia's economy grew 5.5 percent last year, boosted by commodities exports and expansion of domestic demand. The government is forecasting growth of 5 percent for this year with inflation of 5.5 percent. (Reporting by Daniel Ramos; Writing by Sarah Marsh and David Gregorio)
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