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Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2010-2011

International Integration and Macroeconomic Policy Challenges Amid Global Economic Turmoil

image of Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2010-2011

This publication is issued annually by the Economic Development Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). This sixty-third edition of the Economic Survey looks at the nature of the recovery from the financial global and economic crisis whose fallout spread across the region in the second half of 2008 and in 2009. It also delves into the challenges posed by highly liquid conditions in international financial markets combined with high prices for the region’s key commodities. Finally, it analyzes the situation in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean during 2010 into the first part of 2011.

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Executive summary

After contracting in 2009, GDP expanded by 5.9% in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2010, albeit with the region’s hallmark differences in performance from one country to another. The expansion in output was driven by strong domestic demand in the forms of both consumption and investment, and by buoyant external demand. On the domestic demand side, private consumption (up 5.9%) was sustained by an upturn in employment and wages, brightening economic expectations, an expansion in lending to the private sector and, in some countries, an upswing in remittances from emigrant workers. Public consumption rose at a more modest rate of 3.9% and investment jumped by 14.5%, with strong growth in the machinery and equipment segments in particular. On the external demand side, exports of goods and services were especially buoyant —rising by over 10%— in the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) countries, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico and Nicaragua. Meanwhile, imports of goods and services increased by more than 10% at constant prices on the back of robust domestic demand within the region, which rose 7.5%.

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