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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The global economy continues to expand, though heterogeneity and downside risks persist. The recovery in most advanced economies—where output remains below trend—is proceeding only gradually, and will continue to be constrained by the need to repair household, government, and financial sector balance sheets. Growth in emerging economies remains robust fueled by favorable external conditions, yet policies need to be tightened to avoid overheating.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The region continues to grow at a robust pace, led by rapidly expanding domestic demand. Growth is projected to moderate this year, though a quicker withdrawal of monetary and fiscal policy stimulus may be necessary to guard against rising overheating risks, particularly in economies experiencing strong “tailwinds” from rising commodity export revenues and capital inflows. In countries with the strongest real links to advanced economies, economic weakness was more prolonged, but their recoveries are gaining traction. Throughout the region, rising global prices of food and fuel are adding to challenges of containing inflation and protecting the poor. Downside risks to the global outlook highlight the need to build policy buffers and to guard against an eventual reversal of capital inflows.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

Emerging markets have increasingly relied on foreign exchange intervention to confront currency appreciation pressures arising from “easy external financing conditions.”Focusing on the last seven years, this chapter discusses the experience of selected Latin American economies with these policies, and compares them with those of other regions. It also examines the role of different modalities of intervention, and offers a new cross-country approach to assess its effectiveness and costs.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The world economy continues to be buffeted by the burgeoning downdraft of the financial crisis and volatile commodity prices. As such, the outlook points to a major downturn for the global economy, with growth falling to its slowest pace since the 2001–02 recession. Levels of uncertainty and volatility are very high, presenting policymakers with a challenging environment to navigate.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The regional outlook is being increasingly clouded by the deepening global financial turmoil. Growth is expected to slow markedly as the global slowdown and tightening financial conditions take hold, while external current accounts are set to weaken. Downside risks to growth have also increased, given the uncertain outlook for world commodity prices and the possibility of further spillovers from the strains to global financial stability. Flexible exchange rates should ease the adjustment for some. Policymakers face a delicate balance in mitigating the expected slowdown while maintaining orderly funding conditions, and seeking to anchor stability over the medium term.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The recent inflationary episode in Latin America and the Caribbean has been the first real test of the region’s commitment to low inflation, especially for the countries with formal inflation-targeting (IT) frameworks. Inflation in the region—which rose to over 8 percent in August 2008—is expected to remain high through end-2008, before beginning to decline gradually in 2009. All other emerging markets have also experienced similar price pressures, with consumer prices rising by over 14 percent a year in the Middle East and by about 8 percent a year in emerging Asia and Europe. Within the region, inflation pressures have been most acute in countries with less flexible exchange rate regimes (including most countries in Central America, Bolivia, Ecuador, and, notably Venezuela, with inflation surpassing 30 percent). In contrast, the IT countries have the lowest inflation in the region, on average. Yet even in these countries headline inflation picked up on average by over 2 percentage points between August 2007 and August 2008, and exceeded the target range in most of the IT countries, often by a wide margin, as of August 2008.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The sharp run-up in food prices between 2006 and mid-2008 has set off a debate about how to deal with the adverse effects on low-income households, which typically devote a larger share of their budget to food. In fact, IDB and World Bank estimates suggest that the recent surge in food prices may have erased the gains in poverty reduction of the last decade in many countries (Box 4.1).

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

A pesar del reciente deterioro del entorno económico mundial, las proyecciones para la región indican tan solo un debilitamiento moderado de las perspectivas. Sin embargo, en la edición de octubre de 2011 de Perspectivas económicas: Las Américas, el Departamento del Hemisferio Occidental advierte que los riesgos a la baja son severos. Una fuerte desaceleración en Asia, provocada, por ejemplo en respuesta a una recesión en las economías avanzadas, podría afectar a los precios de las materias primas, lo que tendría efectos negativos en los países exportadores de materias primas de América Latina. Dado que la política monetaria a nivel mundial probablemente seguirá siendo laxa, los flujos de capitales podrían exacerbar el sobrecalentamiento y agudizar las vulnerabilidades en los mercados emergentes. Las perspectivas para los países que mantienen fuertes vínculos con Estados Unidos a través de la economía real son un poco menos alentadoras. Estos países deberían dar prioridad a la reducción de la deuda pública. Si bien gran parte de la región del Caribe se está recuperando de una recesión prolongada, las perspectivas siguen estando limitadas por los altos niveles de deuda y los débiles flujos de turismo. En esta edición se señala que las políticas económicas pueden desempeñar un papel importante en mitigar el impacto económico de los shocks a los términos de intercambio y se subraya la necesidad de recomponer los márgenes de maniobra para la aplicación de políticas.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

Este informe se focaliza principalmente en las perspectivas para la región en el contexto de la crisis que se proyecta para la economía de Estados Unidos y los persistentes riesgos que afectan a las perspectivas mundiales. En general, la región está en mejores condiciones que en el pasado para navegar por la actual turbulencia financiera, dado que las vulnerabilidades son menores y se han fortalecido los marcos de política económica. No obstante, el informe señala el riesgo de que la tensión financiera mundial limite los flujos de capitales hacia la región y de que los precios mundiales de las materias primas bajen más de lo previsto. También existen riesgos derivados de la creciente inflación y de la rápida expansión del crédito privado en varios países. El informe explora las opciones de política de que disponen los gobiernos de la región, subrayando la necesidad de preservar los logros alcanzados en los últimos años.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

Para América Latina y el Caribe, la actual turbulencia mundial aparece enmarcada dentro una confluencia de shocks negativos: la paralización del mercado de crédito mundial, el debilitamiento de la demanda externa y el descenso de los precios de las materias primas. Se prevé que la región podrá afrontar los actuales shocks mundiales mejor que en crisis anteriores, gracias a avances en la última década que han permitido apuntalar los fundamentos macroeconómica. Sin embargo, sobre la región aún pesan muchos riesgos adversos. En este contexto de incertidumbre, en el informe se abordan las implicaciones de la crisis financiera mundial para la región y los consiguientes desafíos a los que se enfrentan las autoridades.