* 2011 growth rate raised to 8.0 pct from 7.8 pct
* Construction, fish and seafood farming drive growth
QUITO Oct 6 Ecuador's economy grew 5.2 percent
in the second quarter this year versus the same period in 2011,
the central bank said on Saturday, as it revised up economic
growth figures for the first quarter and full-year 2011.
The central bank revised up economic growth in the first
quarter to 6.3 percent from 4.8 percent, while growth in 2011
was raised to 8 percent from 7.8 percent previously.
Meanwhile, GDP growth in 2010 was revised down to 3.3
percent from 3.6 percent previously, and the economic growth
rate for 2009 was raised to 1.0 percent from 0.4 percent.
The OPEC country's central bank announced late last month
that it had decided to start calculating gross domestic product
using 2007 as its base year instead of 2000.
In addition, the central bank said it is now using a new
methodology to measure the size of the country's economy and is
looking at 45 economic sectors, up from 29 previously.
The monetary authority said that the sectors driving growth
in the first quarter were construction and the fish and seafood
The economy expanded 1.2 percent in the second quarter
versus the first three months of the year, while
quarter-on-quarter growth for the January to March period was
1.0 percent, the central bank said.
Ecuador is OPEC's smallest member and produces around
500,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Its economy depends heavily
on oil exports.
Higher oil export revenues together with increased tax
collection have allowed the government to ramp up welfare
spending in recent years, which has spurred economic growth.
The central bank lowered its 2012 growth forecast to 4.8
percent from 5.4 percent after slower than-expected growth in
the first quarter, due partly to lower oil revenues, but now the
growth rate for the January to March period has been raised by
1.5 percent percentage points.
And the prices paid for Ecuadorean crude have picked up in
recent weeks, which suggests that full-year growth could be
The government of leftist President Rafael Correa has failed
to diversify the Ecuadorean economy from its dependence on oil
exports and the country could suffer if crude prices fall again.
The government has vowed to continue spending heavily to
spur growth as it heads toward a presidential election scheduled
for February. Correa is expected to run for re-election, but has
yet to make an official announcement.