The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) raised this Tuesday its growth forecast in the region for 2022 from 1.8% estimated in April to 2.7%, although it warned that the scenario is “very complex.”
The agency dependent on the UN, based in Santiago de Chile, assured in a new study that “the economic slowdown has been deepened by the effects of the war in Ukraine” and “the growing limitations faced by internal macroeconomic policy to promote growth”.
Added to this, ECLAC added, “are the strong inflationary pressures, the low dynamism of job creation, falls in investment and growing social demands.”
The economies that will expand the most this year are Venezuela (10%), Panama (7%), Colombia (6.5%), Dominican Republic (5.3%), Uruguay (4.5%), Guatemala (4%) Honduras (3.8%) , Bolivia (3.5%) and Argentina (3.5%), according to the institution.
In the middle of the table are Costa Rica (3.3%), Cuba (3%), Nicaragua (3%), Ecuador (2.7%), Peru (2.5%) and El Salvador (2.5%), while the countries Mexico (1.9%), Chile (1.9%), Brazil (1.6%), Paraguay (0.2%) and Haiti (-0.2%) will grow the least.
For the Caribbean, ECLAC estimates an expansion of 10.2% or 4.7% without counting Guyana, which has been experiencing an oil boom for some time.
The region thus returns “to the path of low growth that it exhibited before the start of the pandemic,” the agency stressed in the study “Economic Study of Latin America and the Caribbean.”
The report also shows that inflation has continued to rise, reaching 8.4% regionally in June, “which is equivalent to more than double the average value recorded in the 2005-2019 period.”
“Although the rise in the price of raw materials has benefited the countries of the region that export primary goods, in particular hydrocarbons and food, for the region’s average a 7% drop in the terms of trade of products is projected. basics”, highlighted the agency.
For this year, ECLAC expects the value of regional exports to increase by 22% and that of imports by 23%, so the surplus in the balance of the goods account will be less than in 2021.
After last year the region was a net recipient of capital, the report indicates that the data available for the first quarter of 2022 show that the inflow of flows is slowing down, mainly due to a “greater tightening of global financial conditions”, especially all from the war in Ukraine.
On the other hand, the slowdown is restricting the recovery of the labor markets, especially for women: the female unemployment rate went from 12.1% to 10% at the end of the first quarter of the year, a lower decrease than the male rate.
Latin America, the region most affected by the pandemic, grew 6.2% in 2021 as a rebound after the 6.8% collapse registered in 2020, the biggest recession in 120 years.