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LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
More consumption spurring growth
7/22/2011
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Internal demand and employment figures improve.

The region’s economy will grow by 4.7 percent on average this year due mainly to higher internal demand, according to a recent report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, or ECLAC, 1.2 percentage points less than the previous year.

The “Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2010-11,” published July 13, said that better employment indicators and increased credit will likely boost consumption and spur growth.

The report said that unemployment of 7.3 percent in 2010 will likely drop to between 6.7 percent and 7 percent in 2011.

But not all economies in the region are growing at the same speed. ECLAC said that South America is growing faster than other regions, with 5.1 percent-growth expected this year, mainly due to exports of raw materials. Growth in Central America will likely total 4.3 percent and 1.9 percent in the Caribbean, due to these regions’ strong economic dependence on the United States and Europe, whose economies are seriously troubled.

The report warned, however, that higher international food and fuel costs could weigh on the region.

“High international liquidity pushes down real exchange rates while pushing up commodity prices (which encourages intensive specialization in commodity exports and production),” said ECLAC. “This increases the vulnerability of the region’s economies to external shocks and creates greater investment volatility, thereby negatively affecting the capacity to grow, generate productive employment and reduce inequality.”

For 2012, ECLAC expects a regional economic growth of 4.1 percent due to economic uncertainties in the United States, Europe and Japan.
—Latinamerica Press.

LATIN AMERICA/THE CARIBBEAN
Gross Domestic Product Growth (Variation rates)

Country
2010
2011*
Panama
7.5
8.5
Argentina
9.2
8.3
Haiti
-5.1
8.0
Peru
8.8
7.1
Uruguay
8.5
6.8
Ecuador
3.6
6.4
Chile
5.2
6.3
Paraguay
15.0
5.7
Bolivia
4.1
5.3
Colombia
4.3
5.3
Dominican Rep.
7.8
5.0
Suriname
4.4
5.0
Venezuela
-1.4
4.5
Brazil
7.5
4.0
Guatemala
2.8
4.0
Guyana
3.6
4.0
Mexico
5.4
4.0
Nicaragua
4.5
4.0
Costa Rica
4.2
3.2
Cuba
2.1
3.1
Honduras
2.8
3.0
Belize
2.9
2.5
El Salvador
1.4
2.5
Trinidad & Tobago
2.5
2.0
Jamaica
-1.3
1.5

*Estimated
Source: CEPAL


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