By Lucien Chauvin
Andean economics: Beyond the boom
Andean governments are stepping up efforts co counter an economic slowdown in their once booming economies. Most expect the decline to be short-lived
South America's three most open economies have hit a rough
patch. Booms in Chile, Colombia and Peru have started to lose
their momentum, following a drop in worldwide commodity prices
and expectations of tighter global liquidity.
Export earnings have fallen and local currencies have
depreciated, in some cases severely: Peru's currency, for one,
plunged by more than 10% percent against the dollar in the
first eight months of the year. Domestic demand has also
softened unexpectedly across the region, particularly for
durable goods. Car sales in Colombia were down 23% in the first
quarter, although analysts expect an uptick in the second
While growth in the three economies is still enviable in
global terms - Chile is projected to grow by 4.6%, Colombia by
4% and Peru by 5.5% - authorities are now scrambling to roll
out measures to stimulate growth, cut bureaucracy and
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