Ecuador economy to shrink by up to 9.6% in 2020 due to pandemic -central bank

QUITO, June 4 (Reuters) - Ecuador’s economy will contract between 7.3% and 9.6% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, a drop in the price of crude oil and a fall in remittances, the central bank said late on Wednesday.

The expected decline comes as the country aims to renegotiate its foreign debt with creditors at a time of falling government revenue. President Lenin Moreno has said state income was likely to drop by $8 billion due to the pandemic, which has hit Ecuador particularly hard.

The central bank had said in January, before the virus outbreak and the plunge in the price of crude, the Andean country’s main export, that gross domestic product would likely grow 0.7% this year after a modest expansion of 0.1% in 2019. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)