QCOSTARICA – People who have loans in dollars or who pay for services in this currency will have relief because the price has dropped ¢23 so far this year.
However, the downward behavior of the dollar exchange is causing concern in the national tourism industry, the import/export, and many foreigners living in Costa Rica whose main source of income is the US dollar.
This has led to representatives of various groups holding face-to-face and virtual meetings with the president of Banco Central de Costa Rica (BCCR) – Central Bank – that controls the dollar exchange rate, Roger Madrigal.
“One of the requests that the Chamber (of Tourism) made to the president of the BCCR was to evaluate the implementation of measures that allow for greater calm in the foreign exchange market, given that uncertainty is causing an accelerated appreciation of the colon and an expectation in economic agents that the dollar will continue to fall,” said Tadeo Morales Gómez, vice president of the Arenal Chamber of Tourism and secretary of Canatur.
Morales said that the Central Bank president was receptive to the concerns.
The main causes for the fall of the dollar exchange are that the high tourist season is very good and it is expected to continue like this throughout the first quarter.
In addition, the international price of oil has been falling and this means that the country has to pay less for these imports, as well as for other raw materials, which translates to requiring fewer dollars, leaving the local market with pockets full of dollars.
“Other factors are that exports and foreign direct investment are rising and US$3 billion of Eurobonds will enter in mid-March and this keeps the dollar low for at least this quarter,” Daniel Suchar, independent economist, told La Republica.
The problem is not knowing the real reason, since in many cases it does not make sense, this behavior of the colon does not obey any economic theory because that is not convenient for a country like Costa Rica.
Many believe that there are powerful interests in people who retain a lot of capital in dollars and who are the ones that this is convenient for them.
Currently, the dollar exchange reference rate (from Friday) by the Central Bank is ¢570.64 for the buy and ¢578.18 for the sell. This is down from ¢594.17 and ¢601.99, respectively, on January 1.
At the commercial banks (both state and private) the buy this Monday morning ranges from ¢560 to ¢566 and sell ¢576 to ¢580.