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 and the Caribbean 2013

Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2013

Three Decades of Uneven and Unstable Growth You do not have access to this content

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29 Oct 2013
9789210560092 (PDF)

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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, 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.
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  • Foreword and executive summary
    Like previous editions, the sixty-fifth edition of Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean has two parts. The first part examines the recent performance of the economies of the region and the outlook for the current year, and the second part discusses long-term aspects of the economic development of Latin America and the Caribbean.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts The economic situation in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2013

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    • Regional overview
      In 2013, world GDP growth is projected to be similar to that of 2012, while 2014 should see economic growth pick up speed (see table I.1). Notwithstanding the persistent recession in the eurozone in 2013, the developing countries are expected to continue to drive growth in the world economy, while policies adopted by the United States and Japan should help to revitalize their own economies and boost growth worldwide.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Three decades of uneven and unstable growth

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    • Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean between 1980 and 2012: Stylized facts
      This chapter gives an account of the main stylized facts regarding growth and inequality over the past three decades (1980-2012) in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dramatic changes have occurred in policies, institutions and economic and social performance over this period. The changing patterns of GDP and inequality are examined, contrasting the more favourable performance over the past decade with that of the two before, and changes in the way external constraints or variables have shaped growth are analysed. Attention is given, as well, to the region’s inadequate capital formation and sources of financing, especially public and private domestic saving, again with an emphasis on developments over the past decade. Next, progress in reducing inflation and strengthening the fiscal accounts is reviewed, along with the main changes in the way the region’s economies engage with the global economy, through trade, remittances, finance and investment.
    • Income and aggregate demand over the past three decades
      This chapter tracks economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean over the past three decades from the perspective of aggregate demand. It starts by describing the path that growth and functional income distribution have followed in the region and then explains the impact that changes in the terms of trade have had on the growth of gross national disposable income, stressing how they have shaped that economic growth in a number of countries over the past decade. It goes on to discuss the growing contributions that consumption and net exports are making to GDP expansion in a context of trade openness. The chapter concludes with an assessment of investment, highlighting its relationship with installed capacity utilization and, in particular, with income growth, noting its substantial accelerator effect in the region.
    • Three decades of labour productivity and structural change
      This chapter looks at how labour productivity has evolved in the region and analyses how it ties into investment, population growth, workforce skills and structural change, in addition to its link with foreign trade. The findings of the analysis are summarized at the end of the chapter.
    • Macroeconomic policy enhancement and challenges for promoting growth with equality
      The main macroeconomic policies implemented over the past three decades are outlined below, highlighting how they have been enhanced over time. In the case of fiscal policy, the discussion centres on how this enhancement contributed to growth in relation to public debt, countercyclical action, social spending and public investment. For monetary and exchange-rate policy, the focus is on the policy contribution to nominal stability (inflation and interest rate reduction) and the enhancement that comes with institutional changes and flexible exchange-rate management; these changes helped to broaden the scope for monetary policy to play a countercyclical role during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. This chapter also looks at the build-up of international reserves as the monetary authorities responded to growing international financial volatility. The closing section proposes orienting macroeconomic policy so that (while leveraging and maintaining its strengths in an institutional framework that ensures public policy coordination and cooperation with social actors) it encourages investment, especially in the tradable sectors (the ones that produce goods and services that are exported or compete with imports) that generate linkages, thus fostering structural change to further sustainable growth with equality.
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