Cuba reports economic slowdown

Dec. 29, 2008 at 8:51 PM

HAVANA, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Cuban officials said Monday the country's economy has slowed down considerably following several years of growth.

Economy Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez said that economic growth for 2008 declines to 4.3 percent for the year, well short of the 8 percent the government had forecast, the BBC reported.

Osvaldo Martinez, president of the Cuban parliament's economic commission, said that external factors such as the rising cost of food imports were responsible for Cuba's economic shortcomings this year.

Cuba was also adversely affected by a series of hurricanes that caused an estimated $10 billion in damages.

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