Americas Roundup: November 2015
12 Nov 2015
The only thing more unpredictable than the price of commodities in recent years has been the discussion surrounding the “supercycle.” Is it over? Are we in a sub-cycle? Was it even real? It’s easy to get lost in the noise and not focus on the tangible impacts that the decline in commodity prices has had on many resource-rich countries.
Improved economic planning, enhanced regulation, and buoyant commodity prices have lifted over 70m people out of chronic poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean in the past decade. Additionally, a growing middle class has led to increased consumer spending, creating a virtuous cycle of economic expansion. That said, this trend has slowed in recent years, so there is still work to be done.
The decline in commodity prices, the contraction of domestic consumer markets and the global economy’s sluggish growth in recent years, have all played a part in the region’s economic slowdown. In some economies, diversification has helped mute the impact of lower commodity prices. In others, even though public spending is slowing, a dynamic private sector continues to drive these economies forward. Prudent reforms have made the region more attractive for foreign direct investment – bringing about much needed formal-sector employment and increased economic activity. All of these elements have made the region more resilient to the peaks and troughs of commodity prices.
While Brazil and particularly Venezuela have seen their economies contract this year, Panama, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago and others continue to expand, albeit at a slower pace. Below you’ll find selected content from our most recent reports, highlighting how various countries in the region are responding to the changing global economy, and decline in the value of their exports. We’ll examine the Panama Canal expansion project and explore the government reforms underway in Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago.
You can find more insight on the Oxford Business Group website or join in the discussion on Twitter with @OBGinsights.
You can also follow me on Twitter for more up to the minute analysis on Latin America.
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