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UN's ECLAC: LatAm economy to post 1.1% growth in 2017

The economy of Latin American and the Caribbean will rebound to a 1.1% average growth in 2017 after two years of contraction, according to United Nations' regional organization ECLAC.

Despite geopolitical risks, regional growth will be supported by improved growth expectations abroad amid a boost in prices of the region's export commodities, ECLAC said in its newest annual report on the region.

Among subregions, Central America and Mexico are seen growing 2.5% on average due to improved prospects in the U.S. Meanwhile, the GDP of South America will expand 0.6% while that of the Caribbean will advance 1.2% after a -0.8% contraction in 2016.

ECLAC also expects all countries in the region will observe positive growth rates this year, except Venezuela, whose GDP will decline by 7.2%, and Caribbean countries Saint Lucia and Suriname, both of which will contract 0.2%.

However, ECLAC underscored the role of macroeconomic policies in fostering long-term growth and structural reform in the region's economies.

"To resume medium- and long-term growth, countercyclical policies are needed that not only focus on reducing the cycle's fluctuations, but also on modifying those specific characteristics that negatively influence growth and the productive structure of countries in the region," the organization said. "This means moving toward countercyclical frameworks for fiscal policy that defend and promote public and private investment."