The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimated this Wednesday a rise in gross domestic product Regional (GDP) of 6.2% in 2021 and just 2.1% in 2022.
The agency raised its GDP forecast for 2021 after its 5.9% estimate made last August, but lowered its growth forecast for 2022, which was previously 2.9%.
“With the growth rates expected for 2021 and 2022, less than half of the countries in the region will have managed to recover the activity levels of 2019, before the crisis: 11 countries will achieve this in 2021 and another 3 countries will join in 2022 ”, he warned in the report“ Preliminary Balance of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean ”.
The Latin American countries that grew the most in 2021, according to estimates, are Peru (13.5%), Panama (12.4%), Chile (11.8%), Dominican Republic (10.4%), El Salvador ( 10%), Argentina (9.8%), Colombia (9.5%) and Honduras (9%). In the middle are Nicaragua (7.4%), Mexico (5.8%), Costa Rica (5.5%), Guatemala (5.4%), Bolivia (5.2%), Brazil (4, 7%) and Paraguay (4.6%). While the worst performers in 2021 were Uruguay (3.9%), Ecuador (3.1%), the Caribbean islands (3%), Cuba (0.5%), Haiti (-1.3%) and Venezuela (-3%).
The projected growth rates they rest “mainly on the internal component, given that the contribution of the external sector to GDP growth is not expected to be significant,” observed the report by Cepal, a UN body based in Santiago de Chile.
However, the report, presented virtually from Mexico City, observed that “this year bottlenecks in supply chains have affected, to a greater magnitude than expected, manufacturing production in countries with important centers. manufacturing such as Brazil and Mexico. ”
(There will be) slower-than-anticipated economic growth and job recovery, higher inflationary pressures, and high exchange rate volatility
THE IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC
The report reiterates that Latin America is the most affected region in economic and health terms due to the covid-19 pandemic, which has left nearly 50 million cases and more than 1.5 million deaths, with Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Argentina leading the way.
For the region, which had a historical contraction of 6.8% in 2020, “the macroeconomic situation will also become more uncertain and complex in 2022,” warned ECLAC.
“(There will be) slower-than-anticipated economic growth and job recovery, higher inflationary pressures and high exchange rate volatility, which will add to low levels of investment and productivity, and high levels of informality, inequality and poverty.” , he indicated.
(What’s more: Expenditures in which the State will tighten its belt in 2022).
The agency calculated an unemployment rate close to 9.7% in 2021, below that of 10.3% in 2020, but higher than that of 8.1% in 2019. ECLAC also stated that, in the first ten months of 2021, 16 currencies of the region they depreciated against the dollar American versus 2020.
Even so, the average depreciation, excluding the economies with “chronic inflation”, was 5.9%, lower than the 8.7% of 2020. The report also estimated that the region’s exports grew by 25% in value during 2021, with increases of 17% in export prices and 8% in export volume.