GDP Growth: Panama Best, Ecuador Worst
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14th September 2006

Panama will see the strongest economic growth next year, followed by Argentina. Ecuador will see the lowest expansion.
BY CHRONICLE STAFF
Latin America’s economies are expected to grow 4.2 percent next year, according to a new forecast from the International Monetary Fund. That is higher than the 3.6 percent growth the fund had forecast in April.
However, Latin America’s GDP growth next year will still be lower than the world average of 4.9 percent and lag behind the forecasted growth in all regions except the European Union. By contrast, developing Asia will grow by 8.6 percent, the IMF says.
PANAMA JUMPS
While both Brazil and Mexico will grow faster than originally forecast (up 0.5 and 0.4 percentage points, respectively), the strongest revisions have taken place in Panama (up 2.1 percentage points), Argentina (2.0 percentage points), Costa Rica (1.5 percentage points) and Ecuador (up 1.0 percentage point), according to an analysis by Latin Business Chronicle based on IMF forecasts released in April and September.
Only one country, Haiti, has seen its growth forecast revised down, by 0.4 percentage points. The other eight countries will likely grow as the IMF originally had forecast.
Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, will grow by 4.0 percent next year. That is better than the 3.6 percent the IMF estimates for this year. Mexico’s economy, the region’s second-largest,  will …

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