Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean

1681-0384 (online)
Hide / Show Abstract
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.
Also available in Spanish
Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2012

Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2012

Policies for an Adverse International Economy You do not have access to this content

Click to Access:
  • PDF
  • READ
25 Apr 2013
9789210553674 (PDF)

Hide / Show Abstract

The Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2013 analyses the policies required to improve the perspectives of sustainable regional growth. It reviews the links between economic growth and investment and employment, as well as the fiscal and monetary policies, industrial, trade and social policies relevant for short and long-term growth. Special attention is given to regional key issues such as its structural heterogeneity, its high levels of inequality and the challenges of environmental sustainability. Additionally, the region’s economic evolution during the first semester of 2013 is analyzed in this survey.
loader image

Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Table of Contents

  • Mark Click to Access
  • Foreword
    The sixty-fourth edition of the Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean is divided into four chapters. The first chapter reviews the region’s economic performance during the first half of 2012, against the backdrop of a global economic slowdown and heightened uncertainty as to prospects for growth in the major economies. This scenario contributed to a slight cooling of economic expansion in Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole, especially through the trade channel. Demand continued to edge up, thanks primarily to household consumption, while rising investment or the positive contribution of net exports helped sustain brisk economic growth in a number of countries. This chapter also examines how macroeconomic policies were tailored to this unfavourable environment and sought to broaden the space for facing an external context that could turn even more negative.
  • Executive summary
    The slowdown in economic growth posted by Latin America and the Caribbean in 2011 continued through the first half of 2012, prompting ECLAC to project that economic activity would expand by 3.2% for the year as a whole. Private consumption was the main driver of growth, thanks to favourable labour market trends, an expansion of credit and, in some cases, an increase in remittances. In a number of countries, brisk investment (especially in the construction sector) and net exports helped temper the slowdown. Overall, though, foreign trade was the primary channel through which the faltering global economy impacted the economic performance of Latin America and the Caribbean: the price of most of the region’s main export commodities trended down, and external demand cooled markedly, particularly in Europe and Asia. As a result, most of the countries are seeing deteriorating terms of trade and slightly wider balance-of-payments current account deficits reflecting a downturn in the trade balance.
  • Macroeconomic report
    The first semester of 2012 unfolded against an international backdrop clouded by uncertainty over the route out of the sovereign debt crisis beleaguering a number of euro zone countries, weak recovery in the United States and slowing growth in China and India. Global economic growth projections were revised downwards, triggering a fall in prices for most raw materials, except for some foodstuffs whose prices were pushed up somewhat by climate and supply factors. Amid this uncertainty, in the first half of 2012 sovereign risk ratings for euro zone countries either rose —particularly in Greece, Spain and Italy— or, after rising in 2011, remained above the levels seen during the recent international financial crisis (see figure I.1).
  • The policy response of Latin America and the Caribbean to the adverse global economic scenario (2008-2012)
    This chapter reviews three major external events that had an impact on the region between 2008 and 2012: (a) the 2008 food and fuel price boom; (b) the global financial crisis of 2008-2009; and (c) mounting international uncertainty from the second half of 2011. It also identifies the main macroeconomic, social and sectoral policies implemented by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to deal with the consequences of these events, which, unlike in the past, originated in the economic and financial spheres of developed countries. It would not be venturing too far to assert that this sequence of negative external shocks reached magnitudes surpassed only by the Great Depression of the 1930s.
  • Investment and saving in Latin America and the Caribbean: Stylized facts
    Along with technical progress, human capital building and structural change, the formation of fixed capital is one of the main factors of sustained, long-term growth. Analysis of fixed capital formation patterns therefore sheds light on the difficulties which must be tackled in order to speed growth in Latin America and the Caribbean. This chapter reviews some stylized facts concerning the evolution of investment and investment financing from a macroeconomic perspective —i.e. saving— in the region. This exercise draws upon estimates of the components of investment that were not available until very recently.
  • The role of the region’s financial architecture in an adverse global economic climate
    The global financial crisis (2008-2009) and its intense and prolonged impact on economic activity worldwide have once again highlighted the need to reform the international financial architecture so that countries are better able to respond to negative shocks as finance and trade become ever more globalized. The most recent crisis has, like previous ones, sparked heated debate on how the international monetary system works, how the world’s global financial markets are regulated and what tools international financial institutions need in order to support countries in the efficient and timely adoption of countercyclical policies aimed at minimizing the impact of turmoil on well-being.
  • Bibliography
  • Statistical annex
  • Add to Marked List