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Regional Economic Outlook

Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere - October 2020

Western Hemisphere

Regional Economic Outlook: Pandemic Persistence Clouds the Recovery
October 2020

The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened. Real GDP is projected to contract by 8.1 percent in 2020, followed by a mild recovery in 2021 reflecting persistent spread of the virus and associated social distancing and scarring. Risks to the outlook remain tilted to the downside, and uncertainty about the pandemic’s evolution is a key source of risk. Containing the spread of the virus and addressing the health crisis remain the key policy priorities. In countries where lockdowns still hamper activity, policies should focus on ensuring that firms have sufficient liquidity, and on protecting employment and income, while developing medium-term fiscal consolidation plans to safeguard debt sustainability. In countries that are easing lockdowns, efforts should focus on supporting the recovery, including through structural reforms. Once the pandemic is under control, and the recovery is on a strong footing, fiscal policy will need to focus on rebuilding buffers. Monetary policy should remain accommodative as long as inflation stays within the target range and inflation expectations are well anchored.

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This web page presents information about the work of the IMF in Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic, including the activities of the IMF Regional Representative Office. Additional information can be found on the IMF country pages of the enlarged Central American region (Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama), including official IMF reports and Executive Board documents in English and Spanish that deal with Central America as a region and with each of its countries.

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At a Glance

  • CA-7: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Dominican Republic
  • Costa Rica Joined the Fund on January 08, 1946
  • El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Panama Joined the Fund on March 14, 1946
  • Dominican Republic and Guatemala Joined the Fund on December 28, 1945
  • Honduras Joined the Fund on December 27, 1945
  • Total Quotas: Net cummulative allocation SDR 1,230.60 Million; Holdings: SDR 1,027.62 Million
  • Loans outstanding: ECF arrangements (Honduras and Nicaragua) SDR 132.54 Million;
  • Stand-by Arrangements (Dominican Republic) SDR 703.76 Million