Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2014

Challenges to Sustainable Growth in a new External Context

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The Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2014 looks at how economic growth in the region has been slowing since 2011, and the data available for the first six months of 2014 indicate that the region will not match the growth rate of 2.5% recorded in 2013. Growth has been muted over the first few months of the year, owing to stagnant gross fixed capital formation and faltering private consumption. Government consumption, on the other hand, has picked up, and the net contribution of exports has been more positive than during the same period of the previous year. A regional growth rate of 2.2% is forecast for 2014.

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The external context has been less favourable for the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean in the first five years of the current decade than in much of the previous decade. Beyond the current economic situation, projections of economic and financial trends suggest that patterns in the various markets of the world economy will change in the medium term, leading to a weakening of the external drivers for the region’s growth in comparison with much of the first decade of the century. The processes underlying these trends are not entirely negative, however, as they reflect the partial redressing of certain major imbalances present in the world economy in the past decade and the economic upturn in the United States, which is good news for many of the countries in the region. Although the dynamics of the goods and services and financial markets may be less favourable, making it difficult for the region to attain the rates of economic growth seen between 2003 and 2008, the key variables of these markets in the region (such as the prices of the main export goods and financing conditions) are not expected to plumb the depths seen on occasion in the past three decades.

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