Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2002-2003

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The present edition of the Survey consists of three parts. The first part covers the main aspects of the regional economy from a sectorial and thematic perspective. The second part contains information of the analysis of the economic performance of the 19 countries of Latin America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and Haiti. The third part is dedicated to the remaining countries of the Caribbean, mainly English-speaking countries. Finally, the Survey offers two statistical appendixes, one of them contained in a CD-ROM distributed with the printed version.




In 2002 Haiti experienced negative economic growth for the second year running, with a downturn of 0.5% in GDP, in an environment of continuing political and institutional instability and consequent drastic reductions in external financing. The public accounts were increasingly fragile and the fiscal deficit was equivalent to 2.5% of GDP. The value of both exports and imports of goods was sharply down, by 10% and 7%, respectively. This poor performance could only worsen an already delicate economic situation, in a country in which per capita GDP is a meagre US$ 417 at 1995 prices. The economic situation has a massive negative social impact and a number of international institutions have even cited the possibility of an imminent humanitarian crisis, as larger and larger segments of the population have reached critical levels of vulnerability. Accordingly, Haiti is the only country in the region to have been classified as a least developed country (LDC), and as such it is eligible for significant amounts of international assistance on very favourable terms.


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