Latin American and Caribbean economies will face a bleak and complex economic situation in 2016 as they take a marked step back this year, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, said Thursday.
The economies will have contracted -0.4 percent on average in 2015 and will grow just 0.2 percent next year, affected by a complex external scenario, said the U.N. body in its annual report “Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean 2015.”
However, 2015 was especially productive for Dominican Republic which grew 6.6 percent, followed by Panama and Bolivia with 5.9 percent growth and Cuba and Nicaragua with 4 percent, said the commission's Executive Secretary Alicia Barcena.
Barcena also said that Cuba has done good work but highlighted the need to lift the U.S. blockade, which according to the Mexican diplomat has diminished the economic development of the island.
However, the forecast for the entire region is grim, especially for countries like Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia. These commodity countries, have been affected by low oil prices since the end of 2014. According to the report, prices will remain low.
The adversities also stem from external factors with global growth forecast to remain slow and reach only only 2.9 percent in 2016. 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 percent next year.
The only good news is that this time of adversity will bring the region into stabilization in 2017, Barcena concluded.