2014-2020 will mark lowest growth in the region – ECLAC

2014-2020 will mark lowest growth in the region – ECLAC

Friday, December 13, 2019

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SANTIAGO, Chile (CMC) – The Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (ECLAC) says the 2014-2020 period will mark the lowest growth in the region in the last seven decades, and that the economic overview in 2019 is occurring in a “particularly complex context”.

“The region is exhibiting an economic deceleration that is widespread and synchronised among countries and sectors, topping off six consecutive years of low growth,” said ECLAC in its last annual report released here.

The report notes that in 2019 the country with the greatest expansion will be Dominica (9 per cent), followed by Antigua and Barbuda (6.2 per cent), the Dominican Republic (4.8 per cent) and Guyana (4.5 per cent).

In contrast, it notes Venezuela will experience the greatest setback, with a contraction of -25.5 per cent, followed by Nicaragua (-5.3 per cent), Argentina (-3 per cent) and Haiti (-7per cent).

The report states that economic growth in the Caribbean will be 1.4 per cent and that for 2020 Caribbean countries will continue leading regional growth, with a sub-regional average of 5.6 per cent, led by Guyana with 85.6 per cent due to oil production starting in 2020; Antigua and Barbuda 6.5 per cent, Dominica 4.9 per cent and the Dominican Republic 4.7 per cent.

In the report titled “Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean 2019,” the United Nations regional organisation indicated that. “the deceleration in domestic demand is being accompanied by low external aggregate demand and more fragile international financial markets.

“This context is compounded by growing social demands and pressure to reduce inequality and increase social inclusion. In this way, the macroeconomic situation in recent years shows a deceleration trend in economic activity with a reduction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, a decline in investment, lower consumption per capita, fewer exports and a sustained deterioration in the quality of employment.”

ECLAC said all of this will lead to the region growing just 0.1 per cent on average in 2019, adding that growth projections for 2020 will remain low at around 1.3 per cent.

“As a result, the 2014-2020 period will mark the lowest growth in the last seven decades for the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

ECLAC executive secretary Alicia Bárcena said, “given this scenario, the region cannot withstand adjustment policies and needs policies to stimulate growth and reduce inequality”.

“The current conditions require that fiscal policy be centred on the reactivation of growth and on responding to growing social demands,” she added.

According to ECLAC, “the report emphasises that an active fiscal policy requires in the medium-to-long term a strategy to ensure its sustainability over time.

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