Guyana and Haiti are expected to lead in economic growth among countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the recently released United Nations’ annual World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report.
Both Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are projected to have economic growth of 4.5 percent this year, followed by CARICOM member states Trinidad and Tobago with 2.5 percent, Jamaica with 1.2 percent and Barbados with 1 percent growth.
Last year, Guyana had economic growth of 4.6 percent while Haiti’s growth was estimated at 3.5 percent.
“Overall in the Caribbean region, growth is projected at 3.3 percent for this year. Last year, growth for the Caribbean region was estimated at 2.4 percent in 2013, slightly slower than in the last two years.”
The report notes that Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to hasten their growth to 3.6 percent and 4.1 percent respectively in the next couple of years, up from 2.6 percent in 2013.
The WESP report attributes the positive growth in 2014-2015 to sound macroeconomic policies, resilient domestic demand and the gradual recovery in developed economies.
However, it warns that economic growth remains subject to growth in other economies, mainly the Euro area, the United States and China, which is now growing at a slower pace than in previous years.
In 2013, although the region experienced growth, economic expansion was uneven.
South America led with 3.2 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, up from 2.5 percent in 2012, due to a rebound in Argentina and Brazil.
By contrast, in Mexico and Central America, economic activity is estimated to have slowed to 1.5 percent in 2013 from 4 percent in 2012, in part because the Mexican economy has faced structural constraints and GDP growth decelerated significantly to only 1.2 percent.
WESP is produced at the beginning of each year by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the five United Nations regional commissions.
A report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean last December puts Guyana’s economic growth close to WESP’s projections of 4.6 percent in 2014.