Cuba Says Economy to Rebound in 2015

Marino Murillo, the Cuban government point man on the economy.  Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban government expects its economy to grow by over four percent in 2015, says Economy Minister Marino Murillo, reported dpa on Monday.

“In 2015 an increase in GDP (gross domestic product) of slightly above 4% is projected, whereby the modest growth rates and slowing trend of recent years will be reversed,” the official Granma daily quoted Murillo as stating in his presentation of the 2015 Economy Plan during a meeting of the Cabinet on Friday.

Murillo, also in charge of the commission overseeing the market reforms on the island, confirmed that the Cuban GDP is expected to close with a 1.3% growth this year, almost one percentage point below the 2.2 percent initially forecated.

Back in June the government of Raul Castro had reduced its economic growth forecast to 1.4 percent due to a “higher than expected economic slowdown.”

The problems were due mainly to poor performance in the sugar and other manufacturing industries, noted Granma.

The Havana government spent as planned over 2 billion US dollars in food imports in 2014. The economic forecasts point to an expenditure of 2.194 billion dollars in food imports in 2015, 137 million more than this year.

Because of its acute problems of productivity, the island imports each year up to 80 percent of its food. Market reforms implemented over the past five years have so far failed to significantly revive the farm sector.

According to data published in “Granma” in 2013, government spending on food purchases abroad has increased from 1.5 billion USD in 2011.

9 thoughts on “Cuba Says Economy to Rebound in 2015

  • You are a brave guy Griffin and probably correct in your translation. I can vouch for the rewards for athletes as right now the regime is building a substantial house for a gold medal winning womens judo athlete and I know a male who having run for Cuba internationally, was rewarded with a car. Their treatment of medical staff is not so good, but I happen to also know that Chavez gave a car to the surgeon who operated on him in Cuba.
    As a grandfather, I too give sweets as a reward! But I don’t increase the pocket money – doing so might create further expectations!
    Regret that my contributions are shortly to cease as I won;t have access to the Internet – shuts me up, so it works!

  • I will take a shot at translating Murilla’s gobbledygook:

    “We are interfering in things we don’t understand. We are telling people what to do, and then watching them to make sure they do it. If anything goes wrong, we will blame the lower level managers and workers. And you’re not allowed to criticize us!”

    Same thing they have said for 55 years.

  • In presenting his budget, Marino Murilla revealed that it is expected that he is expecting an expenditure of $2.194 billion to import food an increase on 2014.
    More will be spent on flour, soy beans, wheat and seed potatoes. He said that employment stands at 2% above the projected rate, Salaries ($20 a month is a salary?) increased by 9.1% reflecting raises approved for athletes and medical professionals.
    Employment in tthe state sector is expected to decline by 2.6%
    In a classic statement of gobbledygook Marino Murillo said:
    “Extremely complex tasks impacting the population are being undertaken, requiring continual training of personnel, in addition to a systematic process of follow-up, supervision and enforcement.Partial results are being evaluated, with a view toward correcting, in a timely fashion, errors which could temporarlly affect a part of the population, or give an erroneous impression of the objectives of the updating.”
    Only Socialists could understand that!

  • ronrobel777, in case you don’t understand Socialism in practice, price controls and every other possible form of control is an essential factor within Socialist thinking. The price controls have been reducing production for fifty five years. Costs of production have been exceeding price levels – potatoes being an example.
    To describe those tilling a very small portion of the good land in Cuba as “independent” is rather humorous. To describe them as “farmers” when they struggle to till 2 acres is a misnomer Cuba lacks farmers. I have visited Cuban agricultural cooperatives and there production levels are low with a high level of labour input. But then the cheapest thing under the Socialismo system is the labour of the people!!
    Socialism in practice has two guiding principles. CONTROL and POWER!
    In Cuba that control and power is held by the Castro family regime.

  • This would be even funnier if it were not so possible that it may very well come true. More likely is that Murillo will announce the failure of the economy to reach its projected goals without offering any explanation whatsoever.

  • Extract from Granma February 2016.

    “Economy Minister Marino Murillo on Monday explained to the Cabinet why the forecast 4% increase in GDP (gross domestic product) in 2015 failed to be achieved.Actual growth being 1.2%.
    The unexpected decline in agricultural production was a consequence of increased levels of pollution and global warming largely a consequence of the capitalist regimes. There was a reduction in the energy supply from Venezuala where rampant inflation had necessitated additional controls. President Nicolas Maduro had explained that there was a plot by world oil companies to attack and undermine State energy companies like Petrobas resulting in a substantial drop in world prices for oill. Due to the necessary prosecution of over 1,500 owners of casa particulars for corruption there had been a reduction in tourism revenues. Although it had been anticipated that an additional 5,000 hotel bedrooms would be constructed by Gaviota SA, the drop in supply of cement due to shortage of paper necessary to provide bags had delayed construction. Anticipated production of male perfumes by LABIOFAM SA had been sabotaged by AP News Agency attacking the reputation of Cuba world wide. Criminals had stolen large numbers of dairy cows in Sancti Spiritus necessitating importation of more milk and milk products. Coffee exports had declined due to unexpected volumes of coffee being marketed by Columbia and Brazil.
    However, despite the non-controllable factors discussed it is reasonable to consider that a 4.5% increase in GDP will be achieved in 2016.”

  • None, not one of the major inputs to the calculation that produces the economic growth number is projected to improve significantly. Economic growth, put simply is a function of increased export revenues, lower costs of production, increased public savings, and higher currency values or any combination of the above. Given the unification of the two currencies, it is virtually assured that Cuban money will be worth less. Cuba is borrowing more not less money so savings will necessarily decrease. Production increases? Where? As mentioned in this post, there will be an increase in imports. Even if there were an increase in exports, the increase in exports is measured against imports. The ‘trade balance’ will no doubt be negative and not positive. It won’t even be less negative. It will likely increase. So how does Murillo expect the economy to triple this year’s numbers? Clearly, this is like Fidel’s Ten Million Ton Harvest and Raul’s ‘glass of milk on every table’. Promises are made and then broken with no consequence to the Castro elite.

  • The government “forecast” of 4% economic growth is based on what economic indicators? Has foreign investment gone up or down? Are orders for Cuban exports up or down? Is tourism up or down? Are Venezuelan oil subsidies going up or down?

    If last year’s projection of 2.2% growth came in at 1.3%, and that was blamed on poor performance in the sugar and other manufacturing industries, then what evidence does the government have that these problems have been corrected?

    “Market reforms implemented over the past five years have so far failed to significantly revive the farm sector.”

    OK, so if the last five years of government policy have failed to have the desired effect, what’s different now?

  • They better start allowing market prices to prevail on land being farmed by independent farmers and cooperatives. Price controls will only restrict production.

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