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Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 1996-1997

image of Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 1996-1997

In 1996 and 1997, the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean appeared to have returned to the pattern of moderate growth. Part I of this publication gives insight into the economic trends, the international economy and the role of exchange rate policy in the region. Part II explores the economic developments by country. Included also is a statistical annex on diskette, which contains tables extending as far back as 1980.

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Summary

In 1996 and 1997, the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean appear to have returned to the pattern of moderate growth based on heavy inflows of foreign capital that characterized the years prior to the outbreak of the Mexican financial crisis. The rate of GDP growth for the region as a whole is expected to reach 4.5% in 1997, which compares well with the figure of 3.5% for 1996 and the average of 3.7% per year for the period 1991-1994. It is estimated that inflows of foreign capital, which went no higher than US$ 57 billion before the crisis, reached some US$ 63 billion in 1996 and will increase to around US$ 70 billion in 1997. These capital inflows will more than make up for the ever-widening balance-of-payments current account deficit, which is expected to reach some US$ 55 billion in 1997. The latter figure represents approximately 3% of GDP, a percentage similar to that in 1993-1994.

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