The growth of Costa Rica’s economy will be slower than forecast, with a growth of 2.43% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, it is the weakest expansion since the country exited recession at the end of 2009, Central Bank data showed on Friday.

The growth was the slowest since the country emerged from four consecutive quarters of economic contraction in the final three months of 2009, the bank’s figures showed.

During the final quarter of last year, the Costa Rican economy grew by 3.05 percent.

Last week Cental Bank president, Rodrigo Bolaños, said that economic growth would be below 4% this year, however did not give a more precise estimate.

The Central Bank said gross domestic product totaled some US$12.7 billion in the January-March period.

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