* Correa sees 2012 inflation rate under 5 percent
* Says economic growth has cut poverty rate
By Alexandra Valencia
QUITO, Dec 12 Ecuador's economy is likely to
grow around 5 percent in 2012, while the inflation rate for the
full year will be less than 5 percent, President Rafael Correa
said on Wednesday.
High oil revenues have allowed Correa to boost state
spending on infrastructure and welfare, which has fueled
economic growth in the past few years. The economy expanded 8
percent in 2011 and 3.3 percent in 2010.
"We hope to end the year with growth of around 5 percent.
Inflation will be within forecasts, under 5 percent," Correa
said in a press conference at the presidential palace.
"Our (economic) growth is healthy. Poverty rates and
inequality have decreased."
According to polls Correa is the clear favorite to win an
election in February 2013. The good state of the economy is
likely to help his re-election bid.
Central bank president Pedro Delgado told Reuters last month
that he expected the construction and energy sectors to lead
growth in 2012 and 2013 due to investment by both the private
and public sectors.
Ecuador's credit rating outlook has been raised by Moody's,
Fitch and Standard & Poor's this year. The rating agencies kept
the default-prone Andean country in junk bond territory, but
noted its improved ability to find financing and good economic
Ecuador is OPEC's smallest member and has benefited from
high crude prices this year.