Paraguay economy contracts 3.0% in Q2, worst fall since 2009 - cenbank

ASUNCION, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Paraguay’s gross domestic product contracted 3.0% in the second quarter, the central bank said on Monday, attributing the country’s worst economic decline since 2009 to a poor performance in key sectors including grains and livestock.

The economy shrank 2.5% in the first half, the bank said in a statement. But it maintained its growth estimate for 2019 at 1.5 percent based on an expected economic recovery driven by an improved soy crop forecast in the second six months of the year.

The bank said that agriculture contracted 11.4 percent year-on-year due to a drop in soybean production caused by bad weather. Livestock contracted 5.8% in the second quarter.

Soy and beef are the land-locked South American country’s main exports.

Manufacturing declined 5.6% during the second quarter, the central bank report said, while construction fell 12.0%. (Reporting by Daniela Desantis, Writing by Hugh Bronstein Editing by Alistair Bell )