Latin American economies in 2015: winners, political basket cases and dark horses

August 2013: Colombian Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas speaks during the opening ceremony of the new FEMSA plant near Bogota, Colombia (photo: dpa)
August 2013: Colombian Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas speaks during the opening ceremony of the new FEMSA plant near Bogota, Colombia (photo: dpa)

For the better part of the 21st century’s first decade, most Latin American economies were on hyperdrive made possible by a historic boom in demand for the raw materials they produced. Today, the bloom is off. Even so, the region has managed to avoid economic stagnation. With growth in 2015 expected at 2.2 per cent, Latin America continues to perform better than Europe (0.3 per cent) and nearly as well as the United States (2.8 per cent).

Latin America’s short and longer-term outlook remains positive thanks to a few basic accomplishments. Topping the list is the fiscal and macroeconomic stability achieved by most of its countries, with some notable exceptions. Most have large dollar ...

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