In the semiannual report of 9 Nov 2007, IMF says "Latin America is poised for its fifth consecutive year of strong economic growth in 2008."
Highlights of the report:
- growth in the region will be about 5 percent in 2007, moderating to about 4¼ percent in 2008. This will be the fifth consequent year of growth over 4 percent since 2003.
-average inflation in 2007 is 5.4% and projected to be 5.7% in 2008.
-The region has weathered the recent market turbulence. The solid fiscal and monetary policies have made the region more resilient than it was in the past to changes in the external environment. Instituitional reforms and stronger policy frameworks have made the region better prepared to face times of global turbulence.
-poverty, unemployment and inequality have declined since 2003.
-While the growth of the region has been partly due to the favourable external environment such as increase in demand and prices of commodities, the internal reforms and policy framework of the governments of the region are the most important.
International Monetary Fund Director for the Western Hemisphere Mr Anoop Singh said in a conference in Brazil on 9 Nov "I think Latin America has moved into a new era without the traditional cycle of boom and bust". This confirms my own assessment based on my study of the changes in the markets of the region and the mindset of the Latin Americans.
On Argentina, Mr Anoop Singh said that President-elect Cristina Fernandez had what he called "a strong electoral mandate from the people of Argentina to continue existing economic policies." He said that, through such policies, Argentina was progressing toward more stable economic fundamentals.