Mixed forecast for Latin America’s economies

Presidents Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico, Michelle Bachelet of Chile, Horacio Cartes of Paraguay, Mauricio Macri of Argentina and Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia
Latin American leaders face very different prospects for making the most of global economic growth. From left, Presidents Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico, Michelle Bachelet of Chile, Horacio Cartes of Paraguay, Mauricio Macri of Argentina and Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia (source: dpa)
  • Latin American countries have long depended on raw materials exports for economic growth
  • Their economies have suffered due to recent global shocks
  • They will now need to streamline bureaucracy, open up, and address inequality
  • Argentina, Peru, Brazil, and to a lesser extent Mexico and Chile, are most likely to do so

Latin America withstood the financial meltdown of 2008-9 better than any other region, largely because its commodity exports saw dramatic increases in both price and quantity during the preceding decade. Most countries also had disciplined macroeconomic policies, thanks to pressure from international financial institutions in the 1990s. However, Latin America has been slower to rebound than many other parts of the world. Looking forward, how much economic progress each country makes will vary radically, depending on their abilities to take advantage of global economic conditions, especially the extraordinary liquidity in Europe and the United States. Some countries will benefit from increased trade and investment. Others will be left by the wayside.

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