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Andina, Peru, April 22, 2009

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IMF: Peru to be Latin America's growth star this year

  • Lima, Apr. 22 (ANDINA).- The International Monetary Fund reaffirms what most experts predict - that Peru will have Latin America's highest economic growth this year.

    Peru's economy, the seventh-largest in Latin America, is expected to expand by 3.5 percent this year, while Panama  the 13th-largest economy, will post the second-highest growth - 3.0 percent, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of IMF projections released today.

    Latin America's total GDP will likely fall by 1.5 percent, the IMF predicts. All in all, 12 of Latin America's 19 economies will grow, while five will see declines and two will see zero growth, the IMF predicts.

    "The decline in commodity prices is pounding large economies in the region—Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Venezuela, which are among the world’s major exporters of primary products,” the IMF said in its latest World economic Outlook, which was partly released today. “Moreover, the economic slump in advanced economies— especially the United States, the region’s largest trading partner—is depressing external demand and lowering revenues from exports, tourism, and remittances.”

    Mexico, Latin America's second-largest economy, will have the worst performance, with a GDP decline of 3.7 percent. That will be the country's worst decline since 1995, when its economy fell by 6.2 percent during the so called Tequila Crisis.

    Venezuela will likely have Latin America's second-worst performance, with a 2.2 percent GDP decline. That will be its worst result since 2003, when the economy fell by 7.8 percent.

    Other growth losers include Ecuador (down 2.0 percent), Argentina (down 1.5 percent) and Brazil (down 1.3 percent). For Brazil, Latin America's second-largest economy, such a decline would be the country's worst since 1990, when its economy fell by 4.2 percent.

    Colombia and El Salvador are the two countries that will likely post flat growth this year.  Chile will barely grow - by 0.1 percent - while four nations will see 0.5 percent economic expansion. They include Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Paraguay.

    Haiti, Uruguay, Honduras and Bolivia will all fare better - growing by 1.0 percent, 1.3 percent, 1.5 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively, according to the IMF estimates.

    (END) INT/EEP

 
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