Webstories

Dec 6, 2002

Bright spots and trouble spots in Latin America

Leading experts in Latin America analyzed the political and economic situation in the continent at the Bretton Woods Committee Symposium titled "Turmoil in Latin America -- What is Happening and Why?" The meeting took place on December 12 at IDB headquarters in Washington.

Current Latin American economic and political issues were at the center of a talk given by IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias. The talk called "Bright Spots and Trouble Spots" described economic, social and political turmoil in Latin America.

Economic turmoil

Trouble spots include low growth in virtually every country, scarcity of external finance and resurgence of inflation. Peru will be one of the bright spots in this landscape with a growth rate of around 4%.

Social turmoil

The trouble spots are the deteriorating labor situation and rising poverty. A positive trend is the fact that social expenditures have been resilient to fiscal constraints.

Political turmoil

One of the trouble spots is that public opinion on the economic situation is not positive. There is a rising dissatisfaction with the economic situation in Latin America, lack of support for economic reforms and risk of derailment of the reform process due to adverse public opinion.

The current situation in the region has also affected public opinion on democratic institutions. Although there is dissatisfaction with democracy, the bright spot is that in 12 of 17 Latin American countries, more than half the population is convinced that democracy is preferable to any other type of government. And support for authoritarian government is not on the rise in Latin America.

 
This is an extract from the talk "Bright Spots and Trouble Spots" (pdf) by IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias.

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