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Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 1997-1998

image of Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 1997-1998

The Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean, 1997-1998 is the fiftieth edition in this series. To mark this milestone, a special chapter has been included in this edition which traces the history of the publication and outlines the way in which the economic situation in the region has been viewed during each of the periods examined. Once again, the Survey has been published as a single volume consisting of three parts. Part 1 contains an overview of the economy in 1997 and the first half of 1998. Part 2 presents reports on the 20 countries of Latin American and on the situation in the countries of the English-speaking Caribbean. Part 3 reviews the 50 years of the Survey.

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Economic trends in the Caribbean

Overall, economic expansion was slightly less vigorous in 1997 than in the preceding year, although the rate of growth showed greater divergence between the countries surveyed than in 1996. The sectors recording the strongest performance were tourism, construction and the distributive trades. Agriculture had a mixed performance with declining output in Barbados, Jamaica and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries. The traditional agricultural exports suffered from lower prices, while output in the sector as a whole was adversely affected by unfavourable climatic conditions. The manufacturing sector showed heterogeneous behaviour, declining in Jamaica and the OECS countries but with moderate increases elsewhere.

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