The new year brings welcome news for Latin America and the Caribbean: 2.2 percent GDP growth projected for 2018—an increase of nearly a whole percentage point from 2017’s 1.3 percent growth. The improvement is part of an overall global trend in which emerging markets are picking up steam again, and Latin America is expected to be one of the best performers of the group.
Most notable is South America’s jump from a 0.8 percent economic expansion in 2017 to a forecast 2.0 percent growth in 2018. An 11.0 percent rise in Latin American exports coupled with the price hikes of commodities like oil and minerals explain a good part of the improved economic scenarios for Chile, Brazil, Peru, and Colombia, which are expected to see the four biggest jumps, respectively, from 2017 to 2018 across Latin America. Chile, for one, is expected to grow at its fastest pace since 2013, with a projected 2.8 percent GDP expansion. Brazil, meanwhile, will enter its second year of gains with 2.0 percent GDP growth projected for 2018, after contractions in both 2015 and 2016.
AS/COA Online charts the region’s forecast, per a December report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.