Latin America and the Caribbean are closing a year marked by economic gains, but the region remains exposed to external shocks, Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno said in a year-end report. In recent remarks to the IDB’s Board of Executive Directors, Moreno summarized the region’s challenges, the institution’s performance over the past year and its priorities going forward.
Although uncertainty in international markets reduced the rate of the global recovery during 2011, Latin America and the Caribbean averaged a 4.3 percent economic growth rate. Capital inflows to the region’s largest countries reached a record $354 billion. The percentage of the region’s population in poverty continued to fall, dropping to about 30.4 percent. Urban unemployment also dipped, to 6.9 percent.
However, Moreno added, Latin American and Caribbean nations should not be satisfied with their strong performance over the past few years. The region’s outlook is still vulnerable to external factors such as the European financial crisis, the U.S. fiscal deficit or a deceleration of the Chinese economy.