BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (ECLAC) says countries in the Caribbean and Latin America will face a “bleak and complex economic situation in 2016 as they take a marked step back this year”.
In its annual report – “Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean 2015”, ECLAC said the economies will have contracted -0.4 per cent on average in 2015 and will grow just 0.2 per cent next year, affected by a complex external scenario.
However, the report said 2015 was especially productive for Dominican Republic, which grew 6.6 per cent, followed by Panama and Bolivia with 5.9 per cent growth and Cuba and Nicaragua with 4 per cent.
The commission’s Executive Secretary Alicia Barcena also said that Cuba has done good work but highlighted the need to lift the US blockade, which according to the Mexican diplomat has diminished the economic development of the island.
Overall, the forecast for the entire region is grim, especially for countries like Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia.
The report stated that these commodity countries, have been affected by low oil prices since the end of 2014.
The adversities also stem from external factors with global growth forecast to remain slow and reach only 2.9 per cent in 2016.
ECLAC says Latin America is directly affected by this issue because China, which is one of the region’s main trading partners, will continue decelerating to 6.4 per cent next year.
The only good news is that this time of adversity will bring the region into stabilisation in 2017, Barcena concluded.