Over the past decade, and particularly during 2003–08, Latin America experienced an impressive strengthening of key macroeconomic fundamentals that ended with the global financial crisis triggered by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers (Figures 6.1 and 6.2). The region displayed remarkable improvements in terms of stocks (reducing public and external debt levels and accumulating public and foreign assets) and in terms of flows (improving primary fiscal and current account balances). It also made notable advances toward less-vulnerable debt structures, reducing the share of debt denominated in foreign currency and extending maturity.

New Challenges to Growth and Stability