Economic Survey of Latin America 1969

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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.



The terms of trade in Latin America

It is generally recognized that the external sector is one of the areas with the most bottlenecks in the Latin American economics and that it is therefore a factor limiting the over-all growth rate. For this reason, it is necessary to analyse not only the structure of Latin America’s international trade—as was done in the Economic Survey of Latin America, 1968—but also certain specific problems, such as the question of the relative prices of exports and imports. The theory that the terms of trade between Latin America and the rest of the world were growing unfavourable to Latin America was put forward as long ago as 1949, in the Economic Survey for that year, and it is interesting to review what has happened over the last two decades, so as to establish whether this trend, which has a considerable influence on export capacity, has persisted or been reversed. For this purpose, we shall first examine the unit value indexes for imports and exports ; secondly, world prices of the principal export products; and lastly, the terms of trade between Latin America and the world market. In addition, the method used to compile the indexes of foreign trade is set forth in an appendix, and compared with the methods used by other international organizations.


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