Latin America and the Caribbean will decelerate their economic growth rate in 2022 to 2.1%, after having observed an average growth of 6.2% last year, according to new projections provided by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal) of the United Nations in its preliminary balance of the Latin American economies in 2022.
Among the main messages of the report are the deep uncertainty and the deepening of asymmetries between developed and developing countries.
Emerging economies will not resume growth paths to pre-pandemic levels until 2025, in contrast to advanced economies, which would regain pre-pandemic levels this year.
In 2021, 11 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean managed to regain pre-crisis GDP levels. In 2022, another three would be added, which would reach a total of 14 countries growing to prendemic levels of the 33 that make up the region.
ECLAC sees a scenario of lower growth and global trade for this year, as well as a less favorable external context, less fiscal space, inflationary pressures and episodes of exchange rate volatility. To all this is added a climate of low investment and productivity.
In this scenario, for the United Nations body it is “essential” to maintain growth based on fiscal and monetary policies.
The executive secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena, explained that the expected scenario requires that the reinforcement of growth “be a central element of the policies, while addressing inflationary pressures and macro-financial risks”.
For 2022, ECLAC projects an unemployment rate of 11.5% for women, slightly lower than the 11.8% recorded in 2021, but still much higher than the 9.5% existing before the pandemic in 2019, while for Unemployment for men would be 8% this year, almost the same as in 2021, but still well above the 6.8% recorded in 2019.