Saturday, December 24, 2005

Cuba Claims Economic Recovery from Crisis with Major Growth

Cuba Claims Economic Recovery from Crisis with Major Growth 
2005-12-23 20:37:01
Cuba announced on Thursday that it has turned a corner in its recovery from severe financial crisis, reporting an 11.8 percent economic growth rate in 2005, using its own unique method for calculating gross domestic product.

Cuban Economy Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez said the nation had fully recovered from the early 1990s, when austerity measures were adopted to survive a crushing economic crisis caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its withdrawal of aid from the country.

"The result of this great effort is the growth of the GDP to 11.8 percent, which includes the value of the social services provided in our country."

The economy minister said the growth could be the highest it has been since Castro took control of Cuba, and projects an economic growth rate of 10 percent for 2006.

Rodriguez said the biggest income earners for Cuba this year have been tourism, the nickel mineral, and the exportation of services, especially doctors and other medical workers hired by other countries such as Venezuela to provide free care to poor people.

Cuba's new methodology for calculating economic growth, adopted in recent years, takes into account the country's vast social safety net and subsidized services.

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