Paraguay economy grew 14.7 pct in fourth quarter

ASUNCION, March 25 (Reuters) – Paraguay’s economy grew 14.7
percent in the fourth quarter versus the same period of 2009,
the central bank said on Friday, adding it will likely raise
its estimate of 14.5 percent growth for the whole of 2010.

The poor South American country is the world’s No. 4
soybean exporter and relies heavily on that crop and beef
sales, although the service and construction sectors also
helped fuel last year’s expansion.

Paraguay’s economy grew 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter
versus the third quarter.

It also notched 15.3 percent accumulated growth in the four
quarters of 2010, although central bank officials said annual
growth would not necessarily match that number due to
methodological differences.

The annual figure will be revised next month. It will
reflect a huge jump from 2009 when the economy shrank 3.8
percent amid a global recession and a punishing drought that
slashed soybean output by nearly 40 percent.

The central bank on Friday maintained its outlook for
growth in 2011 at 4 percent.
(Reporting by Mariel Cristaldo; Writing by Hilary Burke;
Editing by Kenneth Barry)

Paraguay economy grew 14.7 pct in fourth quarter