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Wednesday, October 18 2017 @ 02:13 PM AST

Cuba economy grew 1.1% in first half of 2017, after ending 2016 in recession

Cuban Vice President and Planning and Economy Minister Ricardo Cabrisas was reported in Cuban state media to have released the numbers in Cuba's Parliament this week

* Cuba enjoyed a trade surplus in the first half (H1) of 2017 of US$1.98 billion

* Cuba's gross domestic product (GDP) increased in H1 2017 by 1.1% after a -0.9% contraction in 2016, the communist island's first recession in 23 years

* Cabrisas was quoted in the Agencia Cubana de Noticias (ACN) as saying H1 2017 was marked by "an unfavourable situation with regard to the availability of forex and fuel", a result of the announcements by US President Donald Trump to undo former US President Barack Obama's changes in policy toward the island.

The island was said to have fallen short of foreign income expectations by US$417 million and imports were said to also have declined by US1.5 billion, Cabrisas was quoted in ACN as saying.

* In H1 2017, Cuba paid US$2.3 billion to creditors: ACN

* Foreign direct investment (FDI) totaled US$1.3 billion (in H1 2017) in "reinvestments" and new projects totaling 11, five of which are in Cuba's Mariel zone that the Government is developing specifically to attract foreign capital

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