The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has lowered its growth forecasts for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Fund says its predicting a continued recession in the region this year as the wider global recovery continues to “struggle to gain its footing.”
The forecast is contained in the IMF’s latest report on the Regional Economic Outlook for the Western Hemisphere.
The Fund is also predicting that the region will see a contraction in gross domestic product, GDP, by zero-point-five-percent this year.
This will mark two consecutive years of negative growth for the first time since the Latin American debt crisis of 1982–83.
Last year, the economies of the region contracted by 0.1-percent.
The IMF in its report noted that the negative growth rate predicted for this year masked the fact that many countries continue to face recession largely as a result of domestic factors, weak external demand, and further declines in commodity prices.
According to the IMF, it’s expected that growth in Latin America and Caribbean GDP will expand by 1.5-percent in 2017.
However the IMF warned that the regional outlook was “particularly vulnerable” to various downside risks with further declines in commodity prices and a stronger-than-expected slowdown in China.