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.




Economic activity expanded significantly in 1997 and unemployment fell, although it continued at high levels. Increased domestic demand had no effect on prices, which remained practically stable. The current account deficit hovered around 3% of GDP, but was financed without problems because of large capital inflows. This economic momentum continued well into 1998, until the current account gap widened as the merchandise trade imbalance was aggravated by a fall in cereal and petroleum prices, weaker demand in Brazil and a continuing high level of imports.


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