Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2003-2004

image of Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2003-2004

This year's Survey, the fifty-sixth edition in this series, is divided into two parts. The first analyses the main features of the regional economy, while the second examines the situation in the individual countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. A summarized statistical appendix is supplemented by the more detailed information that is provided on the accompanying CD-ROM for ease of data processing.



Economic growth in Latin America: A medium-term perspective

In recent decades Latin America’s per capita economic growth has been modest and volatile and has included cycles of prosperity, stagnation and negative growth. The last few decades of the twentieth century were characterized by shifting patterns of capital flows, recurrent terms-of-trade shocks, economic reforms and a swiftly changing global economy. In this context, economic growth rates in Latin America and the Caribbean reflect the complex interaction of different trends overlapping with cycles of varying intensity and duration. At the country level, a wide variety of growth histories can be detected; in the past 30 to 40 years different countries of the region have witnessed episodes of prosperity lasting nearly a decade, periods of stagnation or outright growth collapses. Some of these episodes are described in this chapter.


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