Bolivia says economy grew 3.36 pct in 2009

* Mining, construction sectors help maintain growth

* Key energy industry shrinks 13.48 percent

LA PAZ, April 9 (BestGrowthStock) – Bolivia’s economy grew 3.36
percent in 2009 as the construction and mining sectors expanded
despite the global economic slowdown, the Andean country’s
national statistics institute said on Friday.

The INE institute said construction activity rose 10.82
percent, while the key mining sector expanded 9.90 percent.

The global crisis did not hit the landlocked South American
country hard, but it sharply reduced demand for natural gas
from its main buyer, neighboring Brazil.

Bolivia has the second-largest reserves of natural gas in
South America, and is the region’s top exporter, supplying the
fuel to Brazil and Argentina.

The natural gas and oil sector shrank 13.48 percent,
slowing overall economic growth, an INE statement said.

Bolivia’s natural gas export revenue fell 38 percent in
2009 to $1.96 billion, the INE said earlier this year.

The Central Bank forecasts gross domestic product growth of
4.5 percent this year and inflation of 4.5 percent. In 2008,
the economy expanded by 6.15 percent.

Leftist President Evo Morales has vowed to boost industry
and manufacturing, but the economy remains heavily dependent on
natural gas and mineral exports.
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(Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by Eduardo Garcia)

Bolivia says economy grew 3.36 pct in 2009