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Economic Survey of Latin America 1948

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The Economic Survey of Latin America 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 provides a concurrent economic overview of the region.

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Latin America and European Recovery

Mineral-producing countries, tropical agricultural countries and non-tropical agricultural countries2 participated in the total foreign trade of Latin America in the years 1928, 1935 and 1938 in the following proportions: mineral-producing, 26, 32 and 37 per cent; tropical agricultural, 37, 37 and 36 per cent; non-tropical agricultural, 37, 31 and 27 per cent. The third group had traditionally relied on a large export surplus to both continental and non-continental Europe to equilibrate its international accounts and, especially, to neutralize an almost continuous deficit with the United States. The second group had a fairly permanent, large export surplus with the United States, a less important export surplus with western continental Europe, and a very small export surplus with the United Kingdom and eastern European countries. The Latin-American mineral producing countries alternated between an export surplus and an import surplus with the United States during most of the 1930’s; with regard to Europe, this group formerly had a relatively significant export surplus with the United Kingdom, as well as with the continental European countries. Trade relations of the three groups with the rest of the world (excluding intra-Latin-American trade) were in general of little importance—amounting to less than 5 per cent of total Latin-American foreign trade—and resulted in an export surplus only to the mineral producing countries.

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