Colombia became the third country to seek access to a new IMF credit line for strong performing countries, requesting 10.4 billion US dollars to bolster its economy in the face of the global recession.
Uruguay’s Economy minister Alvaro García downgraded the country’s growth prospects for this year while doubling the budget deficit estimate from 1% to 2% of GDP. He made the announcements following Monday’s cabinet meeting when he admitted the Uruguayan economy will expand 2% in 2009, --down from 3%-- with a first negative quarter.
Paraguay’s cattle rodeo increased 38.5% in the last 17 years according to the latest agriculture census. Even when the number of farms dropped 16.5% between 1991 and 2008, the number of head of cattle jumped from 7.626.617 to 10.561.894
Concerns about debt levels at Bank of America have overshadowed its better than expected profits for the first three months of 2009. The US largest bank set aside 13.4 billion US dollars to cover credit losses, from the fourth quarter's 8.5 billion.
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling is attempting to boost confidence in the UK economy ahead of Wednesday's crucial Budget statement, despite claims the UK faces the longest recession since the Second World War.
The International Monetary Fund on Friday approved a previously agreed 47 billion US dollars line of credit for Mexico, the first country to qualify for the new lending facility for strong-performing emerging economies. However Mexican authorities have stated they intend to treat the one-year arrangement as precautionary and do not intend to draw on the line.
There are signs the British economy may already have started a recovery, according to economist David Miles. He is due to join the Bank of England's rate-setting body next June.
Brazil's government will offer a ten billion Reales credit line from BNDES, the National Development Bank to support activities in agribusiness, Finance Minister Guido Mantega announced. He added the funds would go mostly to support Brazil’s ailing meatpacking sector and would be offered at an annual interest rate of 11.25%.
Citigroup reported on Friday its first quarterly net profit in nearly two years, the latest US bank to see an improvement in its performance. It made a profit of 1.6 billion US dollars compared with a loss of 5.1 billion a year earlier. Revenues rose 99% to 24.8 billion.
United States economic activity weakened in March, but there were some signs of stabilisation, the Federal Reserve said in its influential Beige Book. The report, used to set US interest rates, said overall economic activity contracted further or remained weak.