IMF growth outlook

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is forecasting that the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean will maintain this year the same overall 0.3 per cent negative growth seen in 2015. Alejandro Werner is the IMF’s chief economist for Latin America. He says it will be the first time the region has seen two consecutive years of economic contraction since the external debt crisis of 1982-83, which gave rise to the so-called lost decade. Werner said on Friday negative outlook is based on economic difficulties in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela, while most other nations in region should post moderate growth. He said falling commodities prices have resulted in some $200 billion in losses for export earnings in Latin America’s seven leading economies.