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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The global economy is emerging from recession, but the recovery is expected to be sluggish. While financial conditions have continued to improve, many markets remain highly dependent on public support, and downside risks prevail. In the United States and many advanced economies, growth and employment will remain weak in coming years. In turn, Canada has shown comparative resilience despite sizable shocks. A permanent loss in potential output, weak private consumption, and much higher debt levels in the United States will be negative legacies of the crisis that could adversely affect the Latin America and Caribbean region.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The LAC region is doing considerably better than in past crises, but there is growing heterogeneity within the region. External shocks to remittances and tourism are still playing out and will continue to affect countries in Central America and the Caribbean. In contrast, some of the larger economies have already bottomed out. These varying output dynamics, coupled with differing room for policy maneuver, are shaping policy challenges in the near term. In addition, long-lasting legacies from the global crisis will have significant implications for the region.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

Although it has faced larger external shocks this time, the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region has fared noticeably better than in the earlier three global downturns since the 1980s. It has also fared better than other emerging markets. This better performance can be attributed to stronger and more credible policy frameworks, which led to lower banking, external, and fiscal vulnerabilities and allowed some LAC countries to react with monetary or fiscal policy easing.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The global crisis put fiscal policymaking at the forefront, highlighting differences in policy frameworks and preparedness within the region. Countries' circumstances prior to the crisis, largely reflecting past fiscal behavior, shaped the varied fiscal policy responses that Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) governments have recently taken. The experience of 2009 confirms that some LAC governments do have “space” to support economic activity during a major downturn. But the experience also draws attention to limits on such space, as well as the need for fiscal policymaking and frameworks to evolve—to be prepared for future shocks.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

Amid escalating trade tensions, tighter financial conditions, and volatile commodity markets, economic recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has both moderated and become more uneven. The recovery has slowed in some of the region’s largest economies (Brazil and Mexico), even coming to a halt in the case of Argentina, as the impact of external headwinds has been amplified by country-specific vulnerabilities. In a similar vein, higher oil prices coupled with increased political uncertainty have dampened the near-term outlook in several economies in Central America. There is still no end in sight to the economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Meanwhile, better terms of trade over the past year and improvements in consumer and business confidence have provided a fillip to growth prospects in some Andean economies, and activity is recovering in the Caribbean, reflecting the uptick in tourism owing to robust US and global growth. Downside risks to economic prospects in LAC have risen and potential for upside surprises has receded. With major currencies registering sharp declines and debt levels remaining at relatively elevated levels in many economies in the region, the scope for near-term countercyclical policy support is generally limited. And with external financing needs being relatively high in some countries and capital flows ebbing, policymakers in the region should be prepared for further capital outflow pressures. In this regard, exchange rate flexibility will remain key, but foreign exchange market intervention could be appropiate under excessive volatility and market dislocation. Beyond the near term, countries should continue to focus on much-needed structural reforms to boost productive capacity and help anchor strong, durable, and inclusive growth over the medium term. Reforms should focus on increasing saving and investment rates, reducing misallocation of resources, making labor markets more flexible and reducing informality, liberalizing trade, improving the business climate, and continued strengthening of anti-corruption frameworks.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

El efecto de la crisis financiera y la recesión mundial en la región de América Latina y el Caribe fue considerable, pero para la mayoría de los países lo peor ya quedó atrás. La región evitó caer en una crisis propia, mostrando resultados relativamente buenos a pesar de los fuertes shocks externos. Muchos países han reanudado su senda de crecimiento. Hoy en día, la región hace frente al reto de adaptarse a una nueva coyuntura internacional que no es tan favorable como antes. La última edición del informe analiza las enseñanzas obtenidas y un programa de políticas a partir del desempeño reciente de la región de América Latina y el Caribe, también basándose en la experiencia internacional más amplia. Se publica en forma semestral, en mayo y octubre.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The impact of the global financial crisis and recession on the Latin America and Caribbean region was substantial, but the worst is over for most countries. The region avoided falling into a crisis of its own, performing relatively well amid strong external shocks. Many countries have now returned to growth. The region now faces the challenge of adapting to a new global environment that will not be as favorable as in the past. The latest edition of the report explores the lessons and policy agenda emerging from the recent performance of the Latin America and Caribbean region, drawing also on the broader international experience. Published biannually in May and October.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

Amid escalating trade tensions, tighter financial conditions, and volatile commodity markets, economic recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean has both moderated and become more uneven.