(Adds quote, details on contraction)
SAN JOSE, April 24 (Reuters) - The Costa Rican economy is seen contracting 3.6% this year due in large part to falling exports and consumer spending as the coronavirus pandemic causes widespread economic pain, the central bank announced on Friday.
If the Central American country’s economy shrinks in line with the forecast, it would mark the biggest contraction since 1982, Rodrigo Cubero, president of the central bank, said at a news conference.
Exports are seen falling by 5.3%, while the hotel and restaurant sector will slump by 27.6%, said Cubero.
The bank’s previous forecast in January projected economic growth of 2.5% this year.
“For the first time in 38 years we will see a fall in consumption in homes,” said Cubero, adding that recovery is expected in 2021 with growth forecast at 2.3%. (Reporting by Alvaro Murillo; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Sandra Maler and Daniel Wallis)