Latin American Economic Outlook 2019

Development in Transition

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Latin America and the Caribbean has seen a remarkable socio-economic progress since the beginning of the century. Countries strengthened their macroeconomic situations, living standards improved, and poverty and inequality declined. Yet, large structural vulnerabilities remain and new ones have emerged. Many of these are linked to countries’ transition to higher income and development levels. The Latin American Economic Outlook 2019: Development in Transition (LEO 2019) presents a fresh analytical approach to the region’s development trajectories. It assesses four development traps relating to productivity, social vulnerability, institutions and the environment. It outlines local opportunities for responding to these traps and seeks ways of improving the interactions and interlinkages between global public goods and national development agendas, all in the context of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. LEO 2019 calls for improving domestic capacities and adopting a new vision of international co-operation as a facilitator to support efforts to achieve sustainable development for all throughout the region.

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Brazil has made improvements in development outcomes during the past decades. In particular, the share of the population living on less than USD 5.5 a day (2011 PPP) decreased from 38.1% to 19.4% between 2005-15. Over the same period, the share of those living on USD 5.5-13 per day (2011 PPP) increased from 33.3% to 33.7%. At the same time, access to education improved as evidenced by a higher net secondary enrolment rate (82.3%). Life expectancy expanded from 65.3 years to 75.5 years between 1990-2016, while infant mortality fell from 52.6 to 13.2 per 1 000 live births between 1990-2017.

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