Uruguay's economy shows signs of recovery, says finance chief


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MONTEVIDEO, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Uruguay's economy is showing signs of recovery in the third quarter of 2020 following the economic crisis caused by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Minister of Economy and Finance Azucena Arbeleche said on Monday.

"Fortunately, there are signs of recovery since the beginning of this third quarter," said Arbeleche, after meeting with the board of the Rural Association of Uruguay (ARU) on the sidelines of Expo Prado, the country's largest agro-industrial fair.

Fuel and automobile sales are picking up, and tax collection, while still falling, is falling by less, she said.

The ARU argued for "the need to increase the competitiveness of the economy," said the minister, adding "we have been working" on that since President Luis Lacalle Pou took office on March 1.

Arbeleche said she was in favor of cutting taxes for the productive sector, saying her "biggest challenge" was "to recover economic growth and regain employment."

According to the proposed National Budget submitted to parliament Aug. 31, the economy will contract 3.5 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic but rebound next year with 4.3 percent growth.

In 2019, Uruguay's economy grew 0.2 percent.