Latin America’s Economies Surge Forward

by Dave

Gross domestic product per capita at constant ...
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via  NYTimes.com.

Latin America, beset in the past by debt defaults, currency devaluations and the need for bailouts from rich countries, is experiencing robust economic growth that is the envy of its northern counterparts.

Strong demand in Asia for commodities like iron ore, tin and gold, combined with policies in several Latin American economies that help control deficits and keep inflation low, are encouraging investment and fueling much of the growth. The World Bank forecasts that the region’s economy will grow 4.5 percent this year.

Recent growth spurts around Latin America have surpassed the expectations of many governments themselves. Brazil, the region’s rising power, is leading the regional recovery from the downturn of 2009, growing 9 percent in the first quarter from the same period last year. Brazil’s central bank said Wednesday that growth for 2010 could reach 7.3 percent, the nation’s fastest expansion in 24 years.

After a sharp contraction last year, Mexico’s economy grew 4.3 percent in the first quarter and may reach 5 percent this year, the Mexican government has said, possibly outpacing the economy in the United States.

Smaller countries are also growing fast. Here in Peru, …, gross domestic product surged 9.3 percent in April from the same month of last year.

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