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IMF, UN's ECLAC further revise declines in LatAm growth prospects for 2016

The InternationalMonetary Fund said April 12 that it further revised downward its growth projectionsfor Latin America, as it now expects the region's economy to contract 0.5% in 2016before recovering to a 1.5% growth in 2017.

The IMF seesBrazil's economy narrowing 3.8% in 2016 and having flat growth in the next year.Meanwhile, Mexico is expected to post GDP growth of 2.4% in 2016 and 2.6% in 2017.

In its latestWorld Economic Outlook report, the IMF said the deep recession in Brazil and weakgrowth in some Latin American countries, particularly those mostly affected by theoil price dip, are contributing to the weaker overall prospects for emerging anddeveloping economies. Global growth is expected to reach 3.2% in 2016 and 3.5% in2017, down from IMF's forecasts in January.

Meanwhile, theUnited Nations' Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, or ECLAC,set its forecasts of an average contraction for Latin America and the Caribbeanto 0.6% in 2016.

The new projectionsreflect a difficult global scenario, a significant deceleration in emerging economiesespecially China, increasing volatility and costs in financial markets and low pricesfor commodities, ECLAC said April 8. Internal demand in the region's countries hasalso weakened significantly, as a decline in consumption accompanies a slide indomestic investment, the organization noted.

However, ECLACsaid countries and subregions show marked differences in growth dynamics, with theeconomies of South America recording a contraction of 1.9% and Central Americaneconomies posting a 3.9% growth. "If Central America and Mexico are taken together,projections for 2016 are 2.6%, below the 2.9% reached in 2015," ECLAC noted.

Meanwhile, growthin the English- or Dutch-speaking Caribbean is estimated at around 0.9% in 2016.