By Caribbean News Global contributor
According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the region has faced a slump that has led to slower growth between 2014 and 2020 than at any point in the last seven decades. For 2020, the commission expects the most growth in the Caribbean, with Guyana growing from 4.5 percent in 2019 to 85.6 percent in particular to an oil boom expected to begin next year.
Antigua and Barbuda is expected to grow from 6.2 percent in 2019 to 6.5 percent; The Commonwealth of Dominica at 4.9 percent and The Dominican Republic at 4.7 percent. Notable, Argentina, the region’s third-largest economy, is expected to contract 3 percent in 2019 and 1.3 percent in 2020.
Other statistical growth includes:
- Grenada: From 3.3 percent in 2019 to 4 percent;
- Panama: From 3.5 percent in 2019 to 3.8 percent;
- Saint Kitts and Nevis: From 3 percent in 2019 to 3.5 percent;
- Colombia: From 3.2 percent in 2019 to 3.5 percent;
- Peru: From 2.3 percent in 2019 to 3.2 percent;
- Guatemala: From 3.3 percent in 2019 to 3.2 percent;
- Saint Lucía: From 2 percent in 2019 to 3.2 percent.
In South America, Colombia is expected to grow 3.5 percent, Peru and Ecuador 3.2 percent. Bolivia and Paraguay would see growth at 3 percent. Venezuela is expected to contract from -25.5 percent in 2019 to -14 percent.
The report also indicated that a period of disappointing growth, which has contributed to social tensions across the region as people demand better services, jobs, and more economic equality, is expected to continue into 2020, with regional powerhouses Brazil and Mexico growing below one percent in 2019 and below two percent in 2020.
Riots and protests had a negative impact on Chile during the last two months. The country is now expected to grow by 0.8 percent in 2019 and one percent in 2020. ECLAC previous projected growth was 3.3 percent.
“A slowdown in internal demand combined with low external demand and fragile international financial markets compounded the slump”, according to the commission. While countries are requested to address social demands and reduce inequality.
“The current conditions require a fiscal policy focus on reactivating growth and answering growing social demands,” ECLAC executive secretary Alicia Bárcena said in a release.
To recover growth, the commission recommends abandoning policies of fiscal tightening and adopting an agenda focused on stimulating growth and combating inequality.
The analysis reveals the region is expected to grow 0.1 percent on average in 2019 and 1.3 percent in 2020, in essence, Latin America and the Caribbean’s GDP appears flat-lined.