odest growth for Latin America and Caribbean, says World Bank

By Marion Ali, Assistant Editor

Latin America and the Caribbean are on course to achieve modest economic growth for the first time in six years, despite the Caribbean’s plight this hurricane season with two major storms that pummeled several of the leeward islands.

The World Bank’s Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, Carlos A. Végh, made the projection this past week at the annual general meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC.

“After a growth slowdown that lasted six years (including a contraction of 1.3 percent last year), the Latin American and Caribbean region is finally expected to resume positive growth in 2017, with market analysts forecasting real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth of 1.2 percent for 2017 and 2.3 percent for 2018,” Végh said.

He noted, however, that the return to positive growth was mainly because of recovery in South America, which is expected to grow by 0.6 percent in 2017 and 2.2 in 2018. This follows two consecutive years of negative growth.

The World Bank official also revealed that the bank was finalizing assistance packages for Barbuda and Dominica – the countries hardest hit during Hurricanes Irma’s and Maria’s devastation last month.

Végh shared that the bank had disbursed US$23 million – US$20 million of which was invested in the relief efforts in Roseau.

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