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2013 was not a good year for the Caribbean -- IDB

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 | 10:42 AM    

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WASHINGTON (CMC) – The Inter American Development Bank (IDB) says 2013 has been marked by an external context that did not encourage a strong economic performance in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The IDB said that the high degree of volatility that rattled international financial markets and the fall in prices for basic goods took a toll on the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth, which averaged 2.7 per cent.

It said that in 2014, the growth forecast for the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole is three per cent.

“A less favorable external environment, along with weak external demand over the mid-term and latent risks in international financial markets, will require the region to accelerate growth without depending on the external conditions that helped us in the past decade,” IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno said in his year-end report to the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors.

“Therefore, our priority is to increase potential output over the medium term through reforms focusing on bottlenecks that are restricting growth in productivity, internal savings and investment,” Moreno added.

As an example, Moreno cited the need to improve the quality of education, as seen recently in the region’s performance in the PISA, an international educational evaluation tool.

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