Bolivia lowers 2023 growth projection as general strike goes on

Bolivia's economy is forecast to grow 4.8% in 2023, less than the 5.1% growth previously forecast, the government announced on Monday during the presentation of next year's budget.

The downgrade comes during an ongoing general strike in Santa Cruz, the country's largest city and economic motor, which has become a site of protests over the timing of a population census.

Activities in Santa Cruz have slowed to a standstill due to the strike, which has created losses of more than $780 million and slowed growth.

Bolivia's agricultural sector has been among the hardest hit by the strike, Economy Minister Marcelo Montenegro said during a news conference.

The government's proposed budget includes over $4 billion in investments in the sector, in addition to the exploration and production of hydrocarbons and biodiesel.

"We are going to continue betting on an important engine: domestic demand," Montenegro said.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth stood at 4.13% in the first half of this year.