Economic recovery in Latin America and Caribbean to be faster than expected – UN

ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena

10 December 2009 – Latin America and the Caribbean will bounce back faster than expected from the global financial crisis, with growth projected at over 4 per cent next year, a regional United Nations agency for economic development announced today.

In its annual report, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) expects positive growth rates for most countries in the region, but notes there are still doubts about whether the recovery will be sustainable, since external scenarios remain uncertain and could impact the area.

“The worst of the crisis is behind us,” said ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena. “The motors of growth have been turned on again, but we don’t know how long the fuel will last.”

South America and Central America, excepting Mexico, will see the highest rates of growth, at 4.7 per cent and 3 per cent respectively, while the Caribbean is expected to experience just under 2 per cent growth.

The country set to see the largest gains will be Brazil, the report said, followed by Peru, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile.

Counter-cyclical policies – including slashing interest rates and increasing public expenditures – that help countries address external turbulence swiftly are to thank for the region overcoming the crisis swiftly, it added.

The new publication, entitled Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean 2009, also looked into how the crisis ended six years of consecutive growth in the region. Unemployment rates also rose to 8.3 per cent this year, which is lower than that 9 per cent predicted earlier this year.


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