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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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Suriname

The economy of Suriname continued to perform robustly in 2010, recording 4.4% growth, compared with 2.2% in 2009. This performance was driven by buoyant activity in the construction sector and increased government spending. The overall fiscal balance is estimated to have gone from a surplus at 3.5% of GDP in a deficit of 14.1% of GDP in 2010. The inflation rate rose to 10% at the end of the year, owing to higher prices for food and fuels and wage increases awarded to civil servants. By February 2011, inflation had accelerated to 18.8 %, and remains a concern to policymakers. Meanwhile, in early 2011, the authorities devalued the Surinamese dollar by 20%, bringing the official rate in line with the rate in the parallel market. The balance-of-payments current account surplus is estimated to have improved significantly (by 230.7%) to stand at US$ 692.2 million or approximately 2% of GDP, owing to strong prices for mineral exports. Net international reserves increased by US$ 34.3 million to US$ 757.1 million at the end of the year, which represents approximately four months of imports.

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