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Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2013

Three Decades of Uneven and Unstable Growth

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The Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2013 analyses the policies required to improve the perspectives of sustainable regional growth. It reviews the links between economic growth, investment and employment, as well as the fiscal and monetary policies, industrial, trade and social policies relevant for short and long-term growth. Special attention is given to regional key issues such as its structural heterogeneity, its high levels of inequality and the challenges of environmental sustainability. Additionally, the region’s economic evolution during the first semester of 2013 is analyzed in this survey.

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Macroeconomic policy enhancement and challenges for promoting growth with equality

The main macroeconomic policies implemented over the past three decades are outlined below, highlighting how they have been enhanced over time. In the case of fiscal policy, the discussion centres on how this enhancement contributed to growth in relation to public debt, countercyclical action, social spending and public investment. For monetary and exchange-rate policy, the focus is on the policy contribution to nominal stability (inflation and interest rate reduction) and the enhancement that comes with institutional changes and flexible exchange-rate management; these changes helped to broaden the scope for monetary policy to play a countercyclical role during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. This chapter also looks at the build-up of international reserves as the monetary authorities responded to growing international financial volatility. The closing section proposes orienting macroeconomic policy so that (while leveraging and maintaining its strengths in an institutional framework that ensures public policy coordination and cooperation with social actors) it encourages investment, especially in the tradable sectors (the ones that produce goods and services that are exported or compete with imports) that generate linkages, thus fostering structural change to further sustainable growth with equality.

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