SANTIAGO, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Latin American economies will see 1.2-percent growth in 2017 and expand another 2.2 percent in 2018, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said on Thursday.
In revising its growth projections for the region, the United Nations agency said better economic performances led it to upgrade its forecasts, though results were uneven across the region.
In the Caribbean, for example, projections were downgraded due to the devastating effects of recent hurricanes, while Central America will see greater growth in the next two years, than South America.
South American countries with important primary exports, such as oil, minerals and food, will grow at a rate of 0.7 percent in 2017, reversing a two-year economic contraction.
But it won't be until 2018 that these countries will see greater dynamism, with average growth of 2 percent.
Central America is expected to grow at a rate of 3.4 percent this year, and 3.5 percent the next.
In the Dutch- and English-speaking Caribbean, the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria weighed down the growth forecast to 0.3 percent this year. However, recovery spending and a better global economic outlook raised the forecast to 1.9 percent for 2018.
Over the long term, sustained growth in the region will depend on "policies that promote investment, which will be essential to lessen the impact of external shocks," ECLAC said.