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Paraguay economy seen shrinking 3.5% this year - central bank

Paraguay's economy is expected to shrink 3.5% in 2020, the central bank announced on Tuesday, citing the effect of the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for revising its previous forecast of a 2.5% recession this year.

ASUNCION, July 28 (Reuters) - Paraguay's economy is expected to shrink 3.5% in 2020, the central bank announced on Tuesday, citing the effect of the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for revising its previous forecast of a 2.5% recession this year.

The country was under a strict lockdown against the pandemic from mid-March to early May. Since then the economy has been largely reopened. Forty three people have died from the virus so far in Paraguay with a total 4,548 cases confirmed, according to official data.

"We expect a negative growth rate of 3.5% due to the strong impact that the pandemic has had in the previous months," Cesar Rojas, head of the central bank's analysis division, said in a conference call.

(Reporting by Daniela Desantis, writing by Hugh Bronstein, Editing by Franklin Paul)

((hugh.bronstein@thomsonreuters.com; 5411 4318 0655; Reuters Messaging: hugh.bronstein.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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