GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador Dec 19 Ecuador's economy
will grow around 4 percent this year while inflation will remain
below 3 percent, President Rafael Correa said on Thursday,
adding GDP in 2014 will likely expand 5 percent.
"The year 2013 has been a good one for the economy," Correa
told reporters in the port city of Guayaquil.
The year's expected growth is slightly lower than the 2012
figure of 5 percent. Ecuador's currency has been the U.S. dollar
The smallest member of OPEC has spurred growth in recent
years through aggressive public investment in infrastructure and
social programs, giving Correa strong political support and
helping him win a landslide re-election this year.
Correa said Ecuador will make heavy investments in the next
two years including an overhaul of the 110,000 barrel per day
Esmeraldas refinery and the construction of hydroelectric dams
meant to reduce reliance on thermoelectric power.
By 2016, the country will see cost savings as a result of
reduced fuel imports, Correa said.
(Reporting by Yury Garcia; Writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing
by Eric Walsh)