People reserve their 2nd Christmas bonus to pay debts and buy imported items

People reserve their 2nd Christmas bonus to pay debts and buy imported items

What will your second bonus be for? In a survey conducted by Los Tiempos via the Internet to which 320 people responded, 45 percent indicate that they will use it to pay debts and save; 5 percent, for the purchase of consumer goods (imported), and another 5 percent, to travel. Nobody talks about investing in a business or something similar. Finally, 43 percent indicate that they will not receive the benefit.

And although the percentages of the survey do not subscribe to a statistical rigor, allow to appreciate some trends of the destination that will be given to this extraordinary benefit.

The economic analysts Gonzalo Chávez, José Gabriel Espinoza and Alberto Bonadona agree that, although there are no serious studies that reveal the fate of the second bonus, it is known that they go to the purchase of consumer goods and payment of debts.

The Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE) reports that imports of foreign goods rise by more than 30 percent in December, unlike other months of the year, although there are no clear effects of the double bonus.

The Government declared that the payment of the benefit will boost the economy due to the purchasing power of the population, but that assertion is rejected by the president of the Federation of Private Business Entities of Cochabamba (FEPC), Javier Bellot, who indicates that this money comes from the country, because people buy imported products.

The head of Statistics of the IBCE, Jimena León, indicates that the external purchases that the country makes have their lowest point in June, and then rise and reach its highest peak in December (30 percent increase). The products with the greatest demand in the last three months of the year are construction materials and clothing, which increase by almost 50 percent; drinks, 60 percent, and shoes, 25 percent.

Therefore, for Chávez, part of the double bonus is going to the consumption of goods and services and another part, saving or paying debts. "This benefit does not stay in the domestic market, but it goes to other economies. The economy is partially reactivated, because almost everything is imported until the potatoes and onions are Peruvian, "he says.

On the other hand, if the money goes to saving, the economy remains stagnant; if one goes to the purchase of goods, it generates commerce, "so most of the money goes to the purchase of imported products and in the intermediate there are those who gain by the multiplying effect," he explains.

For his part, Espinoza indicates that there are no serious studies of the fate of the families of the aguinaldo or double bonus, but warns that each year the consumption of imported goods increases more: televisions, computers, cell phones. "The national industry is basically food and textiles, not technology. The double bonus is used in technology, including furniture ", concludes Espinoza.

For Bonadona, meanwhile, the double bonus stimulates the economy and a percentage goes to informal commerce, the most favored sector. "Many are not going to receive the benefit directly, but people are going to start buying and imported white goods are preferred. Others will save. So that money does not go to the market, "he explains.

According to preliminary data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), Bolivian imports in 2017 totaled 9,288 million dollars compared to 7,986 million of exports. The trade balance is unfavorable for the country, for the third consecutive year, this time for 1,302 million dollars.

On the other hand, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, Juan Carlos Vizcarra, indicates that, according to data that his entity has, the aguinaldo and double aguinaldo are used by the population to purchase consumer goods, such as electrical appliances, which come from contraband, what is the sector that is most favored. "It benefits the informal sector more that does not pay taxes and does not contribute to the country," he says.

70% OF CHRISTMAS ITEMS ARE FROM ABROAD

70 percent of the Christmas items that are sold in Bolivia are imported from China, France and the United States. Among these products, there are Christmas trees, parts of these trees, electric wreaths and others, indicates an IBCE report, with data from the INE.

In 2014, 2015 and 2016, annual imports were made for more than 10 million dollars. However, in 2017 there was a large drop in this type of items, reaching 5.8 million dollars as of September of this year. Each year, more than 4 thousand products are imported from China.

OPINIONS

"It is an extraordinary income and goes to spending on durable goods: technology, televisions, even furniture, and every year the consumption of imported goods increases." José Gabriel Espinoza Economic analyst

"People are going to start buying, others are going to save, both the small informal trade and the big white-line importer are going to make a profit." Alberto Bonadona Economic analyst

"With the double bonus we are giving greater consumption capacity to the population and that benefits those who offer goods and services, which are our businessmen". Mario Guillen Economy Minister

OPINION

Jimena León Céspedes. IBCE statistics

"The last months of the year are characterized by a greater economic movement"

The last months of each year are characterized by greater economic movement than the rest of the months, for the end of the year parties.

More consumer products are demanded, due to the increase in workers' incomes (bonuses, bonuses, even a double bonus), which are mostly used for spending.

The third reason is the greater demand of industries to supply.

The increase of the economic movement is also reflected in the external purchases that the country makes, and is that imports have their lowest point of inflection in June, then begin to rise reaching its highest peak in December, month in which imports up to 30 percent more than in June. Specifically, the last three months of the year is when imports grow the most.

Finally, a period with greater economic dynamism represents opportunities that must be exploited.

It is evident that the demand increases at the end of the year and, therefore, the supply must also do so. Although it is done through an increase in imports, it is much more important that supply increases due to an increase in national production, but for that, market conditions must improve in order to satisfy internal and external demand, which also grows at the end of the year.

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