Economic Survey of Latin America 1955

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Published since 1948, this report examines various aspects of the previous year’s macroeconomic situation in the region and makes projections for the coming months. The study also includes country notes that review the performance of the main economic indicators in the period analysed.




One of the most important economic developments of this century, and in particular of the last twenty-five years, has been the utilization of fiscal policy for the attainment of ever-broader objectives of economic and social policy. In contrast to the more orthodox public finance of the nineteenth century, which aimed at the lowest possible level of State expenditure and at minimum interference by the official sector in the free play of private interests, more recent decades are characterized by active State participation in the economy with a view to weakening violent cyclical fluctuations, maintaining the level of employment and, more recently, promoting the growth of income, correcting maladjustments in certain parts of the economic mechanism and even producing a distribution of the national income more in harmony with present social ideals. Logically this amplification of the public sector’s functions has been accompanied by a formidable increase in State expenditure, in the tax burden and in the public debt, all of which are general characteristics of the fiscal structure to-day in all the countries of the world and particularly in those which are highly industrialized.


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