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 1960

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31 Dec 1960
9789210583459 (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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  • Important note

    Attention should be drawn to the fact that in some cases the statistics presented in this Survey (especially those for the year 1960) are preliminary estimates, prepared as a basis for analysis, and should therefore be used with caution.

  • Introduction

    Economic development in Latin America over the past few years may be described as embracing three types of problems which, in one way or another, have left their very individual marks on economic policy. In the first place, exports have tended either to remain static or to expand at a slower rate than in previous years, whereas imports have been increasing slowly but steadily. Secondly, inflation has either gathered great momentum in many cases or has arisen and ousted relative price stability, always bringing with it disequilibria of varying intensity in the balance of payments, Lastly, the gross product for Latin America as a whole has virtually remained at a standstill since 1958.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Short-term changes in products and income

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    • Short-term economic fluctuations in the period 1948-59

      Since the end of the Second World War, output in the Latin American region as a whole has grown at an average, rate of almost 4.5 per cent per annum. ranging among the individual countries from less than 1 per cent in Bolivia to about 10 per cent in Venezuela. In none of these countries, however, has the rate of growth been smooth and continuous. Furthermore, since 1948 the Latin American economics have been periodically confronted by one or more forms of economic disequilibrium, such as balance—of—payment crises, severe inflationary pressures, excessive productive capacity and unemployment.

    • Recent economic trends

      If the rate of economic development is judged by the growth of the per capita gross domestic product, the economy of Latin America as a whole in 1960 showed signa that are characteristic of a year of recovery. This may be seen from the provisional figures collected so far, which contrast with the figures for 1959, a year of obvions stagnation. The insignificant rise in the product and the fail, in per capita terms, of income and available geods and services which occurred in 1959 was followed by an increase in 1960 which was of roally substantiel proportions in the case of available goods and services: 4.6 per cent.

    • Foreign trade and the balance of payments

      In 1960, for the third consecutive year, external market conditions continued to be unfavourable for Latin America in comparison with the 1956-57 average. Either as a resuit of the smallness of the increase in world demand for primary commodities or because of over-production and the accumulation of abnormally large inventories (both inside and outside the area), the prices of most Latin American export commodities have shown a persistent decline over the last three years, without the occasional expansion achieved by some countries in their sales volume having been sufficient to counterbalance the effects of the fall in prices. Consequently, income derived from total exports in the period 1958–60 contracted considerably as compared with the aforementioned 1956–57 average, despite its slight recovery in the early months of 1960.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Sectors of production

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    • Industry

      A decline in the growth rate in 1959—following two years of rapid expansion—and its subsequent recovery in 1960 have marked the recent trend of industrial production for Latin America as a whole. The rate of increase of the product in the area’s manufacturing sector was about 7 per cent in 1959, compared with rates of a little over 10 per cent in the two previous years. In 1960, according to the provisional data available, there was a further improvement of 10 per cent as compared with the previous year.

    • Mining

      Generally speaking, the Latin American mining industry continued to be highly dependent on foreign markets. Although local consumption of some products denotes a growing market, Latin America exports the bulk of its ore, especially metals. With respect to mineral fuels, the coal mined is mainly for domestic consumption, but on the other hand almost all the petroleum produced in Venezuela, and small amounts produced in other countries, are exported.

    • Agriculture

      In the two-year period 1959-60, Latin American agriculture continued to develop at the slow rate characteristic of recent years, Over the short term, agriculture has remained virtually at a standstill in Latin America, owing to diverse factors, whose incidence has varied in nature and intensity from one part of the region to another. Over the longer term, production in a number of countries is still suffering from the ill-effects of a defective agrarian structure, which retards agricultural development and therefore the growth of the economy in general.

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