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Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2008-2009

Policies for Creating Quality Jobs

image of Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2008-2009

This publication comes at a critical point in the economic development of the Latin American and Caribbean region. A growth phase that the region's recent history cannot equal in nature and duration has come to an end and output is contracting. The first part of this edition looks at the channels through which the crisis is affecting the economies of the region and its impact on variables such as economic growth, employment and external-sector indicators. It also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the countries and concludes with a discussion of the outlook for the second half of the year. The second part discusses policies for creating quality jobs, including challenges and opportunities for labor institutions and labor markets, labor-market policies for youth and women. This CD-ROM also contains the electronic versions of the printed publication. The statistical information reflects data available up to 30 June 2009.

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Guatemala

Real GDP growth in Guatemala stood at 4.0% in 2008, down from 6.3% in 2007, reflecting lower investment and slower growth in private consumption. Because of the economic crisis in the United States, family remittances declined to the equivalent of 11.3% of GDP, although they still helped finance the sizeable trade deficit (15.3% of GDP). In addition, the balanceof-payments current account deficit (4.8% of GDP) was once again financed by rising foreign direct investment (FDI). Higher world oil and food prices in the first half of the year pushed inflation up to 9.4% for the year. The tax burden was equivalent to 11.3% of GDP —one percentage point less than in 2007— increasing the central government deficit to 1.6% of GDP, slightly above the 2007 level.

English

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