TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras: Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez touted a new Central Bank of Honduras report showing that the Honduran economy grew between 4.3 percent and 4.5 percent in 2017.
"The Honduran economy is strong and continues to grow," President Hernandez said. "My administration will keep working to create new jobs and business opportunities for all Hondurans."
In a January 2 press conference, Central Bank President Manuel de Jesus Bautista said, "For the first time in a long time, we have managed to close the year with all sectors showing positive balances." Last year was the first since 2009 that all sectors of the economy grew. Bautista attributed a significant portion of Honduras's growth to increases in foreign investment and a 21 percent jump in exports, compared to 2016.
President Hernandez also announced on January 2 that he is sending a plan to the Honduran National Congress to reform Honduras's credit system. The reform would provide 8 billion lempiras -- more than $339 million -- in low-interest loans for Honduran small businesses, with particular emphasis on agriculture, housing, and tourism.
"Economic growth is encouraging," President Hernandez said. "But it is not enough to simply grow. We need the benefits of economic growth to be transferred to the middle class."
In recent months, Honduras has received international recognition for its investment potential and economic stability. In a report published on November 21, 2017, the International Monetary Fund concluded that the Honduran government has "successfully stabilized the economy, restored confidence, and paved the way for accelerating growth and reducing poverty." Last year, Moody's and S&P both raised Honduras's sovereign credit rating.
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