Spillovers from a global crisis that began in advanced economies pose a severe test to Latin America and the Caribbean region. The good news is that during this decade, countries of the hemisphere have made themselves more resilient—though not immune—by strengthening policy frameworks and reducing homegrown vulnerabilities in public finances and financial systems.
On May 21, the Latin America Initiative at Brookings hosted Nicolás Eyzaguirre, director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, and Steve Phillips, also of the IMF, as they presented this year’s Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere report. Improved fundamentals, the report shows, mean that countries are now more able to respond to the external crisis with active policies to boost output and employment and protect the most vulnerable groups. This will help contain the damage from the global crisis and speed the region’s recovery.
Following their remarks, a panel composed of Mauricio Cárdenas, senior fellow and director of the Latin America Initiative; Liliana Rojas-Suarez, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development; and Carlos Vegh, professor of economics at the University of Maryland, evaluated the report’s findings.