LatAm economy faces downward risks in complicated global environment: UN

Published: January 25, 2019 13:06:04 | Updated: January 28, 2019 13:58:38

Latin American and Caribbean economies face downward risks on several fronts despite a greater growth in 2018, according to a UN report released Thursday.

The region's GDP could grow 1.7 per cent in 2019, from the 1.0 per cent estimated for 2018, according to the report "World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019."

"There are emerging risks we have to take care of, especially in matters of financial volatility, trade disputes and debt levels," said Hugo Beteta, CEO of the sub-regional office of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Mexico.

By 2020, the rate of regional growth could reach 2.3 per cent, but that scenario faces challenges such as a possible slowdown of the US economy, said Beteta during a press conference.

There is also a prevailing uncertainty over oil prices and some metals, in addition to countries facing limited options in terms of countercyclical fiscal and monetary policies, the UN indicated.

For the sub-region of Mexico and Central America, the expectation is a moderate growth in the next two years, thanks in large part to the momentum of the US economy, reports Xinhua.

In terms of South America, the UN indicated the sub-region will be the main source of momentum for the entire continent.

Although Brazil and Argentina faces challenging prospects, their economic conditions are expected to see a gradual improvement.

According to the UN report, the increase in trade tensions at a global level has reduced growth expectations, although certain incentive and subsidy measures adopted by some countries have offset the effect.

The global economy could grow by 3.0 per cent in 2019 and 2020, up from the 3.1 per cent expected in 2018, the report added.

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