Economy in the Time of COVID-19   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Executive Summary: "For the last five years the economic performance of Latin America and the Caribbean has been disappointing, with growth rates being barely positive on average. Supporting the trends in social spending made possible by unusually high commodity prices was becoming increasingly difficult, which confronted many countries with painful adjustments. Over 2019, social unrest erupted across the region, reflecting a widening gap between popular expectations and economic and social realities. And then, in early 2020, international oil prices collapsed. This is also when the Covid-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] outbreak unfolded. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have a rich history of severe adverse shocks, including precipitous falls in commodity prices, dramatic tightening of financial conditions, and major natural disasters. The current external environment of the region bears similarities with this history, which implies that previous experience will be very valuable. But the Covid-19 epidemic brings in a new dimension, as the measures needed to contain the outbreak of the epidemic also result in a major supply shock."

World Bank Group
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