Business chamber reports stronger optimism and confidence

Merchants in the Costa Rican commercial sector have confidence that the economy for this year will have a better outcome than the previous year.

Arnoldo André Tinoco, president of the Cámara de Comercio de Costa Rica, said during a press conference Tuesday that the country has done better economically than during the same time in 2010 and 2011. Businesses have confidence in a better economy, he said.

The pessimism that came from the global depression is now changing in the country, said André. The negative attitude is disappearing, he said.

Business people believe there are three reasons to blame for the central government current deficit, said André. Based on a survey, representatives of 39 percent of the firms believe the increase in public spending is to blame. Some 26 percent blame tax evasion. And 15.5 percent blame the deficit on the structure of public employment.
André said the government has spent an overwhelming amount of money compared to what the country is making. He said the numbers didn’t add up.

One of the reasons for public spending as a problem is lack of control by officials of salary increases, he said.

“What we learned in school about private sectors having more money is not the case anymore. The private sector doesn’t make more money than the public sector employees. It has changed,” said André.

He recommended the government to step back and take a serious look at what is happening with the economy. He said officials must look at what has happened to education and health, and figure out if all the spending has been worth it. The public deficit has a direct bearing on the condition of the national economy.

At the same time, President Laura Chinchilla is trying to win passage of a broad series of tax increases. A first vote on the package is expected today. The tax plan is expected to take $500 million from the private economy.

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