The blockades, registered since the beginning of this week and commanded by the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) and the organizations related to the MAS of the Pact of Unity, generate losses of approximately 10 million dollars a day to the industrial sector, said the president of the National Chamber of Industries (CNI) Ibo Blazicevic.
“From the industry, we are losing around 10 million dollars a day due to blockades, for each day of unemployment. That is the damage that is caused to the industry ”, he indicated.
To these losses as a result of the blockades is added the deterioration of jobs generated by the pandemic in the sector. This indicator, according to the president of the CNI, reaches 120 thousand affected jobs.
“To that, we must add that due to the pandemic and the fall in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that we have seen – if we translate that into job losses – we are talking about more than 120 thousand jobs that are being lost or destroyed in Bolivia.”
Blazicevic and the president of the National Chamber of Commerce (CNC), Rolando Kempff, yesterday held a joint press conference in order to urge the country’s political actors to seek the dialogue and avoid confrontation to protect the lives of Bolivians and the development of the economy.
According to data published by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) last Wednesday, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of the year registered a growth of 0.6%. While the industrial sector contracted by approximately 3.2 percentage points compared to 2019, growing at a rate of 1.4% during the first three months of 2020.
“The manufacturing industry, for its part, presented the food sector with a good performance, with the exception of alcoholic beverages, which presented a negative variation of 3.6%. While the activities of the other industries show drops in their production, mainly those related to construction, such as the production of cement and metal products, machinery and equipment ”, points out the INE.
However, taking data from the Global Index of Economic Activity (IGAE), with data as of May 2020, which show a contraction of -7.9%, a decrease in industrial activity is observed as of April, registering that month a contraction of -4.91% and in May, of -6.95%.
The IGAE is an indicator that makes it possible to know the evolution of the real sector of the economy and is closely related to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The IGAE is a monthly indicator and GDP is calculated on a quarterly basis.
The data show that, despite the general contraction of the sector, the food subsector presented a moderate growth of around 2% in the months of April and May; However, the “other industries” in which manufacturing production is grouped, the items related to construction and the transformation of raw materials, suffered a fall of -13.8% in April and -18.17% in May.
“In the food industry, the greater production of milling products 3.08%, various foods 3.3% and meats 3.1% stood out; In general, it was possible to satisfy the demand of households and the food restoration industry, which from the middle of the month had the authorization of home delivery (delivery), thus allowing a containment to the sharp fall of the sector in the month past ”, explains an INE bulletin.
According to a survey carried out by the CNI and the La Paz Departmental Chamber of Industry (Cadinpaz) last May, about 51% of the country’s industries indicated that their sales will decrease due to the pandemic between 21% and 50%, while 29% indicated that these will fall above 51%.
Likewise, the study indicates that 55.9% of the industries paralyzed their activities 100% during the first 60 days of quarantine.
ECONOMIC ACTIVITY fell TO -7.93% IN MAY
Index The Global Index of Economic Activity of Bolivia (IGAE) presents a negative accumulated rate of 7.93% from January to May 2020, in relation to the same period of the 2019 management. April 2020 is presented as the month in that economic activity would have suffered the greatest contraction (6.2 percentage points below the figure observed in the month of March 2020). Although a lower figure was recorded in May, the deterioration inactivity was lower (2.3 percentage points).
Activities The moderation in the fall in economic activity in May is based on the dynamism of the food industry, in line with the boost received by the agricultural sector together with communication services and public administration, they managed to placate the fall in the exercise.