Monday, June 23, 2014

Economic Outlook in Latin America: Meatballs

The Miami Herald reports on a conference of economists talking about Latin America's short-term economic future. It's not an impressive result. One said that if he were a weatherman he'd say "cloudy with a chance of rain" though I would venture to say the quality of the analyses is such that we can label all of it cloudy with a chance of meatballs.

That same economist, incidentally, had thought that in 2010 the region was about to "overcome the curse of being emerging markets" despite remaining reliant on high commodity prices. Now, of course, low commodity prices are seen as a brake on growth.

Another commented that Ecuador has "exhausted its economic growth model" yet will grow by 4 percent anyway. I guess economists have a different definition of "exhausted."

Yet another said that stagnation is a risk. Great, thanks.

It's all arbitrary, and when you get to the end of the article you realize that you have not learned anything. Variables like public education are posed as the critical obstacle for Brazil yet somehow not in Colombia. Congressional intransigence is a problem in Mexico but somehow not anywhere else.

If you shook a Magic Eight Ball you'd get about as good an idea.


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