* Record soy harvest, beef export revival fuel recovery
* Economy contracted an estimated 1.2 pct in 2012
ASUNCION, April 12 Paraguay's central bank
raised its 2013 economic growth outlook on Friday to 13 percent,
from 10.5 percent previously, citing a sharp rebound in
agricultural and beef production.
A drought in the poor, landlocked South American country
slashed soybean output in 2012 and forced a roughly 1.2 percent
economic contraction. Paraguay is the world's No. 4 soy
exporter, though it lags far behind the top three global
The central bank revision was announced nine days before a
presidential election in Paraguay, where the ruling Liberal
Party is polling in second place behind the historically
powerful Colorado Party.
Paraguay is on track to harvest a record soy crop this year,
and the beef and livestock sectors are flourishing after an
outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2011 hurt exports. The
central bank said construction would also help fuel the rebound.
Gross domestic product totals about $33 billion in Paraguay,
the bank said. The country debuted on global credit markets in
January with the sale of $500 million in 10-year bonds, and more
international debt could be issued in the future.
In December, the International Monetary Fund raised its 2013
economic growth forecast for Paraguay to 11 percent.