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Raul Castro presides over Cuba parliament in year-end session; economy, budget top agenda

Cuban lawmakers are holding the second of their twice-annual sessions with a year-end report expected on the state of the country's economy.

Legislators are also to approve next year's budget.

Cuban leaders have sometimes used the parliamentary gatherings to make important announcements or policy statements.

Observers will be watching for word on the progress of President Raul Castro's economic reform plan and efforts to promote younger leaders.

The unicameral parliament will reconvene in February with a new membership following elections. It is then expected to name Castro to another five-year term.

State-run media said Castro presided over Thursday's session.

It was not open to international journalists.