Category: Economy Forecast

Current Economic Trends In Spanish-Speaking Latin America

Current Economic Trends In Spanish-Speaking Latin America

After several years struggling, there is glean hope that the economy of Latin America will stabilize if figures for 2017 and the expected future outlook is anything to go by. Since 2014 it’s only last year that we have seen such a remarkable growth, for instance, the last quarter of last year the region’s GDP grew by 2.3%. There have been several factors which can be attributed to such positive outlook. Looking at individual countries could reveal efforts to bail out the economy from the woods. Brazil which is a major player in Latin America’s economy had the central bank ease monetary policy after the fall of inflation in Q4.

Chile’s new President Sebastián Piñera seems to be development conscious; a move to retain Felipe Larrain as the Finance minister seems to be a good one and which analysts have applauded. Lerrain is celebrated for the role he has played for a robust economic growth in Chile. But the road ahead is not all rosy as the passing of legislation could stand in the way as politics come into play.

The political situation in Ecuador could mean something to the economy. President Moreno after consolidating power can now move without many hiccups and pass legislation which could affect the economy positively. We can only wait and hope for the best in Colombia who are now warming for their elections to be held between March and May 2018.

Brazil

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Analysts are optimistic that the economy of Brazil will continue registering positive results. The accommodative monetary policy and improved confidence being part of the reasons for optimism. Figures reported for Q4 last year can only affirm the situation on the ground, as now there’s a rise in consumer sentiments. This year economists project that the economy will grow by 2.5% rising to 2.6% in 2019. There is, however, some worry due to the political situation in the country especially as we draw near to the October elections. This uncertainty could generate volatility in the country’s exchange rate and financial markets. Brazil is Latin America’s largest economy but could soon take a back seat due to slower growth.

Mexico

All is not well in Mexico, as the country continues to struggle with consumer sentiments deteriorating by the day. The economy is badly affected by the effects of the high inflation, tighter monetary condition, and fiscal consolidation. GDP estimates show that the last quarter of 2017 the economy registered a growth of 1.8%. There has reported shrank in retail sales and rise in unemployment. The government has not been spared either and it had to scale down infrastructure projects. Probably after the elections, things could change but so far analysts project that in 2018, the economy will grow by 2.2%.

Argentina

This is a country that seems to be affected by a widening current account making its economy venerable to external shocks. The situation is also affecting the local currency and the ballooning external debt obligations. Currently, the currency is experiencing further depreciation a time when a number of subsidies for basic products continue to be slashed. Though inflation continues to rise, it’s expected that the government will continue tightening its spending though and still rely on international debt to finance its fiscal spending. A growth of 3 % is however projected in 2018 and a fast economic growth expected in the next two years due to solid growth in fixed investment.

Colombia

There was a mixed data for the final quarter of 2017. There was a turnaround in the retail sector as we saw lower unemployment and subsequent improvement in consumer confidence. But other areas like car sales saw contraction. The trade deficit narrowed due to rise in exports and contraction of imports. These are some of the areas that will continue driving the economy of Columbia this year. It’s expected that growth in private consumption, moderate inflation, higher fixed investment and growth in exports will continue spurring economic growth to a higher new level. The economy is expected to grow at 2.6% in 2018. But if political tensions are amplified due to this year’s elections, it could see the economy badly affected.

The economy of Spanish speaking Latin America is currently not as bad as it was two years ago, there’s a remarkable improvement and the future seems better. Nevertheless, politics seems the biggest impediment to economic growth and how well the region plays politics will have an effect on the future economic outlook of the region.

Are Latin American Countries Developing More Advanced Economies?

Are Latin American Countries Developing More Advanced Economies?

Latin American countries had seen the worst economic performance in 2015 following the onset of the recession. It is understood that the region fared far worse than it has ever done in the past ten years.

“Latin American countries had seen the worst economic performance in 2015.”

Economic experts around the globe attributed the decline in economic growth in most Latin American countries to a drop in commodity prices, poor governance and lack of growth oriented economic programs. Even Venezuela which had been doing quite well by the summit of 2014, also failed to impress both during the onset of 2015 and towards the end of 2016. Generally, the year 2016 was far worse than what most economic experts had expected. Here is a general overview of what could have led to the deteriorated economic growth in the Latin American region.

Understanding the situation on the ground

According to information on the economic growth pattern of the region for the year 2016, it is clear that the region witnessed a much worse economic downturn than most economic experts had expected.  Even though the region’s economic growth had literally stagnated during the whole of 2015, the year 2016 still promised better things. Economic experts within the region had a better outlook than what they witnessed in 2016.

Expert sources show that the region’s economic growth contracted by around 0.7 %. This is by far worse than what was forecasted earlier in the year.As things stand, countries like Brazil and Argentina are still in the deep waters of the 2015 economic recession.

Brazil in particular, is experiencing an economic situation which is far worse than what it witnessed in 2016 as the country’s currency continues to depreciate along with low investor confidence and consumer spending.

In as far GDP growth is concerned, the region fared quite badly. Economic data shows that the region fared the worst in this area after its GDP declined by over 0.2 %. Compared to other regions in the world, this was the worst performance of the year 2016. Even sub Sahara Africa recorded a much better GDP (about 4 %; this was the 3rd best GDP growth in the world) for the year 2016 than Latin America. This is the current situation on the ground. The three major countries in the region are all fighting to lift themselves out of the current mess using various measures.

“A number of economic experts believe that the region’s failure to emerge out of the 2015 recession was largely caused by poor economic policies.”

Poor past economic policies

A number of economic experts believe that the region’s failure to emerge out of the 2015 recession was largely caused by poor economic policies. Major economies in the region including Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela had been found to be culprits of poor economic policies which had been structured and implemented by previous regimes. The effects of such past policies had resurfaced and began to haunt the economies of these great Latin American nations.

To be more precise, experts strongly believe that the recession which was witnessed by the region was largely due to the past economic policies especially those which were implemented during the post 2008 global recession era. Argentina is the major culprit in this regard having just ushered in a new government last year following the expiration of the former regime’s tenure. The new government took over both macroeconomic and microeconomic imbalances which had been left behind by the previous regime.

For example, Brazil and Argentina both failed to deal with the depreciation of their currencies against the US dollar. Like most Latin American countries, they chose to depend on tightening their fiscal policies. This was also replicated by Venezuela which not only tightened its fiscal policies, but also went on to stiffen its monetary policies. All the countries in the region which followed suit gradually saw a sharp drop in their economic growth rates.

What lies ahead?

This is the question that everyone is asking. The contracted economic growth that has characterized the region is not new to the rest of the world. But, the right measures have to be put in place to dismiss it before things become worse. Argentina and Brazil both share the same economic woes, even though Brazil appears to be in a much worse situation. Venezuela’s growth has equally stalled although recent measures appear to be yielding the government’s desired results.