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Healthy growth forecast for Central America

Monday, April 13, 2015


The region will in 2015 grow faster than most of the rest of Latin America, according to projections by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Panama and Nicaragua will grow by 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively, followed by Guatemala, Costa Rica and Honduras, which are forecast to grow between 3 and 4 percent.

El Salvador is struggling at just over 2 percent but its economy is buoyant by comparison with Argentina, which this year will have zero growth.

The Brazilian economy for its part is expected to shrink by 0.9 percent, while Venezuela faces negative growth of 3.5 percent, largely due to low prices for oil, the country’s main export product.

Mexico and Colombia are expected to be among the healthiest Latin American countries, with growth forecasts of 3 and 3.6 percent respectively.

Both countries depend to a considerable extent on oil and other commodities, whose price has dropped in the past year.

But Mexico is much more diversified than Venezuela, with significant revenues derived from agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, especially in the automotive sector.

Colombia for its part is strong in agribusiness, banking and transportation, while benefiting from a peace dividend, as the country’s half-century old civil war winds down.