14ymedio, Havana | June 23, 2014 — The Cuban economy is growing at a rate slower than the official forecasts, according to data announced by the Minister of Economy and Planning, Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez. He said that during the first half of this year the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) will increase by just 0.6%, but will improve during the following months to an increase of 1.4% by the end of the year. However, independent analysts question these expectations and believe they are not a realistic reflection of the state of the economy.
The Cabinet last Saturday presented details about “the difficulties that continue to damage the Cuban economy.” Rodriguez blamed the failure of the Plan’s objectives on the “adverse weather conditions” and “the complex international situation.”
The Minister of Finance and Prices, Lina Pedraza Rodriguez, noted a substantial drop in productivity in 124 companies, which had planned a positive balance but ultimately had losses.
At the meeting, the ministers also addressed the issue of monetary unification. The head of the Permanent Commission for Implementation and Development, Marino Murillo Jorge, explained that this measure “will not by itself solve all the problems of the economy,” but requires the implementation of other policies aimed at increasing the efficiency and level of productivity of labor.
In addition, the officials said that, at the end of May, around 467,000 people were self-employed, but they have not provided any statistics on the high number of the self-employed who have ceased their activities.
Translated by Tomás A.