Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 1998-1999

image of Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 1998-1999

This survey presents an overview of the regional economy and the economic performance in 1998 and the first half of 1999. It also offers individual country reports on the performance of the 20 countries of Latin America during 1998 and the first half of 1999. In addition, the Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean analyzes the economic situation in the countries of the English-speaking Caribbean. This year's edition includes a CD-ROM that contains the statistical appendix.



Impact of the international crisis on Latin America and the Caribbean

In 1997 the Latin American and Caribbean region turned in one of its best economic performances in two decades, as output expanded by 5.4% and inflation decreased to 10.4%. However, the currency crises which wracked East Asia and the subsequent global financial crisis dimmed Latin America’s hopes of remaining on this growth track and riding out the external turbulence. Many economies in the region were hit by these shock waves during 1998, and some of them plunged into recession. As a result, the growth prospects for Latin America are bleak in 1999. The Caribbean countries were comparatively less affected by the international turmoil, and growth in this subregion did not lose its momentum. For the region as a whole, the actual growth rate was only 2.3% in 1998, down from an original estimate of 4.5%. Prospects for 1999 point towards a decline in regional GDP (from -0.5% to -1 %). As a result, unemployment has been increasing, and it is a virtual certainty that poverty will rise as well.


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