MONTEVIDEO, March 27 Uruguay's economy expanded
3.9 percent in 2012 vs a revised 6.5 percent a year earlier,
buoyed by booming construction activity and strong growth in the
transportation and communications sector, the central bank said
It was the 10th straight year of growth in gross domestic
product, despite a 1.3 percent decline in farming and
cattle-ranching - the traditional mainstays of this small South
In the fourth quarter, GDP grew 4.8 percent from a year
earlier, speeding up from a revised 2.9 percent expansion in the
The economy contracted 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter
versus the third quarter, however, compared with a revised 1.6
percent quarterly expansion in the July-September period.
Despite slower growth rates, inflation remains a concern for
policymakers in Uruguay. Inflation slowed slightly in 2012 to
7.48 percent but was still well above the central bank's target
range of 4.0 percent to 6.0 percent.
The central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 25
basis points to 9.25 percent in December and then held it there
Before Wednesday's revisions, the bank had reported 5.7
percent growth for 2011.
The government has forecast 4 percent growth for 2013, but
some private analysts view this as a bit too optimistic as
sluggish growth in larger neighbors and key trade partners
Brazil and Argentina takes a toll.