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International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Global activity strengthened in the second half of 2013 and is expected to pick up further in 2014–15, on account of a faster recovery in the advanced economies. In contrast, the growth momentum in emerging markets remains subdued, reflecting tighter external financing conditions and homemade weaknesses in some cases. Risks around the outlook for global growth have diminished somewhat, but remain tilted to the downside.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Economic activity in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is expected to remain relatively subdued in 2014. While the faster recovery of the advanced economies should strengthen external demand, this effect is likely to be offset by the negative impact of lower commodity prices and tighter financial conditions on domestic demand. Policy priorities include strengthening public finances, addressing potential financial fragilities, and implementing structural reforms to ease supply-side constraints and raise potential growth.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

A stronger U.S. recovery will impart a positive impulse primarily to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, whereas the anticipated normalization of U.S. monetary policy will affect all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Traditional exposures to U.S. interest rates have diminished, as governments in LAC have reduced their reliance on U.S. dollar–denominated debt. However, U.S. monetary shocks also spill over into local funding and foreign exchange markets. Spillovers to domestic bond yields have typically been contained over the past decade, but the market turmoil of mid-2013 illustrates the risk of outsized responses under certain conditions. In a smooth normalization scenario, net capital inflows to LAC are unlikely to reverse, although new risk premium shocks could trigger outflow pressures. Countries cannot fully protect themselves against such external shocks, but strong balance sheets and credible policy frameworks provide resilience in the face of financial volatility.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This chapter takes another look at the commodity boom experienced by Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) since the early 2000s and analyzes how the region will be affected by a more subdued outlook for commodity prices. The analysis suggests that growth in the years ahead could be significantly lower than during the commodity boom even if commodity prices were to remain stable at their current relatively high levels. The results caution against trying to offset the current economic slowdown with demand-side stimulus and underscore the need for ambitious structural reforms to secure strong growth over the medium term.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

For many decades, fiscal policy in Latin America has been, on average, procyclical. However, country-specific estimates for the cyclicality of fiscal policy are mostly insignificant, with only a few exceptions of clearly procyclical policy. Some countries (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico), meanwhile, appear to have moved toward less procyclical or more countercyclical policy in recent years. Nonetheless, other important attributes of sound fiscal policy, including fiscal sustainability, transparency, and efficiency, need to be strengthened further in many countries.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The global economy continues to grow strongly, although the recent turbulence in financial markets has reduced growth prospects for 2008 and increased downside risks. With vigorous growth in the first half of 2007, world output is now expected to expand by 5.2 percent this year before slowing to 4.8 percent in 2008 (see the October 2007 World Economic Outlook— WEO). As new information about sources of financial weaknesses in industrial economies has emerged, uncertainty about the future path of global economic activity has increased.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The region has weathered the recent market turbulence well so far and the economic outlook for 2007–08 remains generally robust. However, downward risks to the growth outlook have increased, and there are some signs that the improved fundamentals underpinning the region’s resilience may erode if policies do not strengthen. While inflation has remained generally low, it has recently been edging up in many countries. Fiscal and current account surpluses are shrinking as public spending and imports continue to rise strongly.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

A striking fact of Latin America’s economic history is the frequency and regularity with which growth, once under way, has suffered setbacks. Expansions have often been short lived, ending with crises or prolonged periods of stagnation. Latin American business cycles have tended to be volatile compared with those of both advanced countries and other developing countries (Aiolfi, Catão, and Timmerman, 2006). Long-run growth spells—sustained periods of growth, with only transitory interruptions—have tended to be rarer (Berg, Ostry, and Zettelmeyer, forthcoming). Finally, large output drops have happened more frequently in Latin America than in any other region except for Africa (Becker and Mauro, 2006). Previous issues of this Regional Economic Outlook argued that improvements in Latin American macroeconomic fundamentals since the beginning of this decade, coupled with reforms initiated in the 1980s and 1990s, justified hopes that the current economic expansion could be more sustained than its predecessors.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

Fiscal balances in many Latin American countries improved steadily between 2002 and 2006. Initially, this reflected a reduction in expenditures as a share of GDP, which reached a low around 2004. Although spending picked up again in 2005 and 2006, fiscal balances continued to improve, reflecting an even greater increase in revenue growth. However, revenue ratios now appear to have stabilized, while spending growth continues unabated in many countries in the region. As a result, average fiscal balances are projected to weaken this year for the first time since 2002, with a further deterioration expected next year.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Los cinco informes sobre las perspectivas económicas regionales (informes REO) que el FMI publica semestralmente abarcan Asia y el Pacífico, Europa, Oriente Medio y Asia Central, África sub-sahariana y las Américas. En cada informe se analizan la evolución reciente y las perspectivas económicas de la respectiva región, tanto en su conjunto como en países específicos. Los informes incluyen datos clave sobre los países de cada región. En cada informe se enfocan los acontecimientos de política económica que han incidido en los resultados económicos de la región y se analizan los desafíos que tienen ante sí las autoridades. También se analizan de manera exhaustiva las perspectivas a corto plazo, los principales riesgos y los desafíos de política conexos, como por ejemplo cuándo y cómo retirar las intervenciones públicas en los sistemas financieros a escala mundial, preservando al mismo tiempo una recuperación económica que aún es frágil. Estos estudios indispensables son el producto de exámenes interdepartamentales exhaustivos de la evolución económica basados principalmente en la información que el personal del FMI recopila en las consultas con los países miembros.