Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean

1681-0384 (online)
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The Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean is issued annually by the Economic Development Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). It covers the economic situation in Latin America and the Caribbean and provides a concurrent economic overview of the region, as provided by the Division and other experts based on statistical indicators which are collected annually.
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Economic Survey of Latin America 1956

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31 Dec 1956
9789210583596 (PDF)

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Published since 1948, this report examines various aspects of the previous year’s macroeconomic situation in the region and makes projections for the coming months. The study also includes country notes that review the performance of the main economic indicators in the period analysed.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Economic trends in Latin America during 1956

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    • Trends of economic growth in Latin America during 1956
    • Foreign trade: Exports

      During the greater part of 1956, world market conditions for Latin America’s exports of primary commodities were relatively normal. This general statement does not of course imply disregard of the special situations arising in given countries for particular commodities with respect to price levels or the volume of exportable surpluses. It is significant that, despite such individual divergences, the Latin American countries were able in the course of the year to place an increasing volume of their exportable production on the world market, that none of them registered an accumulation of surpluses although in some cases it became necessary to cut prices. Furthermore, one country at least—Cuba—expanded its sugar exports sufficiently for carry-overs from previous years to be considerably reduced.

    • The balance of payments
    • Comparative study of the capacity to import in selected Latin American countries, 1946-55

      It is a well-known fact that economic development is closely linked to the rate of growth of the capacity to import. Furthermore, a perusal of the analysis of the changes in the pattern of imports undertaken in another part of this Survey, will bring to mind the fact that these changes are to some degree contingent upon this capacity. Again, the experience of some Latin American countries since the end of the Second World War goes to show how important a part has sometimes been played in the shortterm fluctuations of their economic activity by the movements of income from foreign sources. It therefore seems of interest to define the characteristics and determining factors of such development during the past decade.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Trends of the main production sectors

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    • Agriculture

      During 1956 agricultural activities in Latin America felt the unfavourable impact of domestic and, occasionally foreign factors which temporarily frustrated the efforts of Governments to expand production and improve efficiency.

    • Industry

      Latin America’s industrial production continued to expand in 1956 at a rate exceeding the previous year by 2 per cent, but there was a further—and considerable— reduction in the quantum rate of growth. The reasons for this varied from one country to another, but one— namely a falling off in demand—was common to all of them. This in turn was mainly the result of a decline in agricultural output, which reduced the purchasing power of the largest group of consumers in the region. Other factors were the deterioration in the terms of trade and the measures introduced in some countries to combat inflation and to eliminate disequilibrium in the balance of payments.

    • Mining

      The extraordinary post-war growth in the industrial production of the highly developed countries has been accompanied by far-reaching technological changes. This has resulted in an intense demand for minerals, not only those which have been traditionally produced in Latin America but also light metals, minerals for the chemical industry, metals for steel alloys and those used in the atomic industries.

    • Energy
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