As of today, about 3,000 people have died from the COVID-19 virus in Latin America and the Caribbean. While the pandemic continues to spread across the region, countries are facing the worst economic recession since countries started producing national accounts statistics in the 1950s. (more…)
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Mehdi Raissi is a senior economist in the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF. He joined the Fund in 2010 and worked on several multilateral surveillance issues and a range of countries, including Italy, India, and Mexico. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Cambridge. His research interests include macro-econometric modeling, macro-fiscal linkages, and sovereign debt issues.
This blog is the first in a series providing regional analysis on the effects of the coronavirus.
COVID-19 is spreading very quickly. This is no longer a regional issue—it is a challenge calling for a global response. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have been hit later than other regions from the pandemic and therefore have a chance to flatten the curve of contagion.
Economic activity in Latin America and the Caribbean stagnated in 2019, continuing with the weak growth momentum of the previous five years and adding more urgency and new challenges to reignite growth. Indeed, real GDP per capita in the region has declined by 0.6 percent per year on average during 2014–2019—a sharp contrast from the commodity boom’s average increase of two percent per year during 2000–2013. (more…)
In the October World Economic Outlook, we described the global economy as in a synchronized slowdown, with escalating downside risks that could further derail growth. Since then, some risks have partially receded with the announcement of a US-China Phase I trade deal and lower likelihood of a no-deal Brexit. (more…)
Social and economic inequality between and within regions in countries is rising in many advanced economies and is now at the forefront of the policy debate because of perceptions that some people and places have been left behind. (more…)