Latin American Recovery

By Isaac Cohen*

The International Monetary Fund released the Western Hemisphere Regional Economic Outlook, highlighting the recovery of the Latin American economies from the contraction experienced by most South American economies in 2016, caused by the fall in commodity prices mainly due to the slowdown in China.

According to the Fund, Latin American “growth moved solidly into positive territory in 2017 and is expected to accelerate further in the near term, underpinned by the pickup in global demand and trade, accommodative global financial conditions, an uptick in commodity prices, and a cyclical recovery of domestic private investment.”

The Fund also concludes that “significant risks remain.” Among them, the Fund identifies “tightening global financial conditions and populist changes in key economic partners, domestic elections and rising populist sentiment at home, as well as corruption scandals.”

With the resumption of growth in Argentina and Brazil in 2017, South American averages turned positive and are projected to remain so in 2018 and 2019. Additionally, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean will benefit from their proximity to the higher growth expected in the United States.

Venezuela is the only South American economy with indicators of negative performance. The Fund in a disclaimer says, “projecting the economic outlook in Venezuela, including assessing past and current economic developments as the basis for the projections, is complicated by the lack of discussions with the authorities.”

The Regional Outlook was released before the abrupt fall in the Argentine peso, which has led the government to request the Monetary Fund’s assistance.

*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media.

About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, actual Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA. Periodista que cubre eventos de las comunidades latinas en Washington D.C., Maryland y Virginia. Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia. Galardonado en numerosas ocasiones por parte de la Asociación Nacional de Publicaciones Hispanas (NAHP) y otras organizaciones comunitarias y deportivas de la región metropolitana de esta capital. También premiado en dos ocasiones como Mejor Periodista del Año por la cobertura de la comunidad salvadoreña; premios otorgados por la Oficina de Asuntos Latinos del Alcalde de Washington (OLA) y otras organizaciones. Ha sido miembro del jurado calificador en diferentes concursos literarios, de belleza y talento en la región metropolitana. Ha visitado zonas de desastre en Nicaragua, Honduras y El Salvador e invitado a esos países por organizaciones que asisten a personas de escasos recursos económicos. Antes trabajó en otros medios de prensa de Virginia y Washington, D.C., incluyendo reportajes para una agencia noticiosa mundial.

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