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The macroeconomics of the Latin American economic boom

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The macroeconomics of the Latin American economic boom

Author: Ocampo, José Antonio Physical Description: páginas. 7-28 Date: December 2007 ECLAC symbol: LC/G.2347-P


This paper argues that the recent boom in the Latin Americaneconomies can be explained by the conjunction of two external factorsnot found together since the 1970s: strong commodity prices (more sofor hydrocarbons and mining products than for agricultural commodities);and exceptional external financing conditions. Concerning the latter, thekey development was the massive influx of capital during two periods of "exuberance" in international financial markets (between mid-2004 and April2006, and between mid-2006 and mid-2007);, particularly the second. It alsoargues for the importance of spreading and consolidating Latin America'stwo great (and complementary); macroeconomic policy innovations ofrecent years: countercyclical fiscal management (still confined to just a fewcountries); and active intervention in currency markets. Such interventionneeds to be based on a growing recognition that the real exchange rateought to be an explicit goal of macroeconomic policy.