by TCRN Staff

Although 2009 was not the best year for the Latin America economy, the region remained stronger than most other regions, such as, North America, Europe, Africa, and some parts of Asia.

GDP shrunk 2.6 percent, however Latin America was protected from the heaviest blows of the global economic recession thanks to responsible macroeconomic policies. Unlike previous recessions, many countries in the region entered the crisis in a position of relative stability this time around , with large stocks of foreign exchanges reserves, flexible exchange rate regimes, low inflation, and healthy banks.

These factors have helped poise Latin America for a solid recovery in 2010, with an expected growth rate of over 4 percent.

The principal determinants of Latin America’s economic growth will be the recovery in the world economy and the increasing demand for exports from the region in conjunction with a boost in domestic consumer spending.

Signs of confidence in the region abound, with direct foreign investment a good indicator. Ford plans to invest $2.3 billion in Brazil while Infosys, India’s second largest software producer, plans to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary. Wal-Mart aims to re-launch its banking operations in Mexico, and Wendy’s/Arby’s is firmly committed to expand throughout Latin America.