QUITO, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Ecuador's central bank said on Thursday it expects the economy to shrink 1.7 percent this year, switching its previous forecast for growth due to lower oil prices and the devastating effects of a earthquake that shook the country in April.
The central bank's initial estimate for the small OPEC country's economy was for growth of 1 percent this year.
But authorities still expect the oil sector to grow 0.8 percent due to a slight increase in crude output and more refining, central bank head Diego Martinez told journalists.
The non-oil sector, however, will likely shrink 2.6 percent.
Some 670 people were killed and about 6,200 injured on April 16 in the strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador in almost four decades, leaving about 8,650 people living in government shelters, according to government figures.
Ecuador's economy grew 0.2 percent last year.
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Chris Reese)
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