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World Bank Projects Chile to Lead Latin American Growth in 2011Wednesday, January 19, 2011 > 14:00:41
(MercoPress – Ignacio Gallegos, Santiago Times)
The World Bank’s 2011 Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report predicts that Chile will be the fastest-growing economy in Latin America and the Caribbean, while the latter’s growth slows down.
The report predicts a 5.8% growth rate for Chile’s economy this year, a figure even higher than the one recorded through the 2004-2007 economic boom. High expectations are based primarily on the nation’s recovery since the Feb. 27, 2010 earthquake.
According to the report, Chile’s growth “is slightly quicker, due to the strong rebuilding activity after the Feb. 27 earthquake. Even though the sustained diversification of exports and the strong demand from Asia will be the basis for export growth, imports will kick off once rebuilding starts.”
"About half of the total exports come from the copper mining industry, which was not touched by the earthquake,” GEP continues.
The Latin America and Caribbean region is expected to slow down with regard to economic growth. While last year regional growth reached 5.7%, the GEP predicts a lower 4% growth this year. The slower growth is attributed to “the weakening of the [economic] environment,” the report says, regarding the recent worldwide economic crisis. Yet Latin America’s growth is still regarded as positive “compared to the region’s past and other emergent economies’ recovery [from the crisis].”
The GEP predicts Chile’s economic growth rates to be followed closely by Peru (5.5%) and Argentina (4.7%). The lowest performing country will be Venezuela, with an “extremely unsatisfying” 0.9% growth expected for 2011.
On the world scale, the report predicts a global growth of 3.3%, slower than 2010’s rate of 3.9%. Even so, the general outlook is optimistic, as nations will seek to recover from the economic crisis and stabilize through the year 2012.