This year should be an exciting one for Latin America. On the economic front, the region should see some modest growth, as the global economy begins a recovery. With a rebound in U.S. growth, countries tied to that economy, whether through trade or remittances, should see a pick-up, and a recovery in Europe – however slight – should spell good news for the region as well. Though Chinese growth is slowing down – spelling an end to the voracious hunger for commodities of the past decade – the effect will not yet be dramatic for the region.
Within the region, all eyes will be on Mexico and Brazil this year – the region’s two largest economies. Under the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico has passed and plans to continue passing a number of reforms aimed at spurring economic growth – the most notable of which was an energy reform at the end of last year. That reform opened Mexico’s energy sector to foreign investment for the first time in decades, and how it is fleshed out will tell whether Mexico will become the region’s rising star.
Brazil, meanwhile, will host the 2014 World Cup, before heading into presidential elections in October – one of seven countries in the region that will choose a new head of state this year. In Brazil’s election, President DilmaRousseff may face a more competitive bid for reelection than many analysts once anticipated, given the protests that rocked that country last June. In the other six elections in the region, incumbents and incumbent parties should have an easier go.
LBC spoke with regional analysts, economists, CEOs, and others to get their insight on where the region will head this region. about their insight after the jump.