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Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2001-2002

image of Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2001-2002

This survey consists of two distinctive parts. The first part examines main aspects of the regional economy, while the second part contains an analysis of the individual countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The part on the regional economy covers the situation in the first semester of 2002 and the prospects for the year as a whole. It also analyzes various aspects of the regional economy in 2001, including macroeconomics policies and reforms, the performance of the internal economy, and the external sector. The part on individual countries covers 20 nations in Latin America and the English-speaking Caribbean. It covers the period 2001 and early 2002, revealing country reports with tables and figures showing main economic indicators.

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The regional economy in 2001

The sharply slower growth rates recorded by the Latin American economies in 2001 thwarted the previous year's hope of embarking upon a new growth cycle. As a result of this slowdown, employment fell, although unemployment levels held steady because of a decline in participation rates. The slump was attributable to adverse international conditions combined with a number of worrisome developments within the region. External factors included declining international prices for the region's main exportables (oil, coffee and others) in a rapidly slowing global economy, especially in North America. This was partly due to the financial turbulence associated with downturns on world stock markets and the uncertainty generated by the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States, which had repercussions on economies around the world, and particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean. These factors resulted in lower export values, dwindling private capital flows (especially to Argentina and Brazil) and rising external debt service. The most critical domestic problems included the financial crisis in Argentina, which had contagion effects on neighbouring economies, and a major energy crisis in Brazil. In addition, a number of natural disasters destroyed physical infrastructure in Central America and the Caribbean, while foot-and-mouth disease made a reappearance in the southern part of the continent. These developments

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