A closer look at Latin America's business, economic and political outlook this year.
BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
Goodbye and don’t come back was the headline of an editorial in Dominican newspaper Listin Diario looking at 2009 and welcoming the New Year. It is a sentiment shared all over the world.
Latin America’s economies fell by 1.8 percent, according to the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Mexico, Latin America’s second-largest economy, saw a whopping 6.7 percent decline – its worst performance ever.
However, despite the global crisis, there were some welcome surprises in Latin America last year. The region actually fared better than during past crises and was less impacted than developed markets like the United States and Europe.
As a result, Latin America’s recovery is expected to be much faster than in most regions of the world.
However, the recovery will be uneven, with some countries growing much faster than others. Brazil’s economy, Latin America’s largest, is expected to grow 5.5 percent this year, the highest in the region, ECLAC estimates.
Peru and Uruguay will also likely see similar strong growth. On the low end will be Honduras and most of its Central American neighbors as well as Venezuela.
Overall, CEO’s of multinationals in Latin America express optimism over Latin America’s outlook this year, as do international experts.
All in all Latin America’s GDP should grow by ...