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Economy & Business - May 2021

LEADER
On 22 April, the deadline for final approval of this year’s federal government budget, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro appeared to have squared the circle, signing off on a budget bill which preserves a constitutional spending cap while at the same time spreading enough money around to keep the so-called ‘centrão’ group of political parties happy, and on-side with his government...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
Juan Carlos Montesinos, the president of a Venezuelan small-scale farmers’ association, Asociación Venezolana de Agricultura Familiar (Avaf), warned on 21 April that diesel shortages were leading to a loss of 3m litres of milk and 25,000 tonnes (t) of food a week...
On 11 April the former banker, Guillermo Lasso, was elected as the next president of Ecuador, defeating his left-wing correísta rival, Andrés Arauz, by 52.4%-47.6% in a far more decisive victory than pre-election polls had anticipated...
On 8 April, the ninth meeting of the Colombian council for the ‘orange economy’ (creative and cultural sectors) took place in the country’s capital, Bogotá...
PERU | Gov’t predicts strong economic recovery...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
The Brazilian government’s rhetoric on privatisation has often exceeded the reality of a frequently delayed, bureaucratic, and highly politicised process...
Apart from criticising recent pension withdrawals, the final report of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article IV consultation on the Chilean economy, released on 23 April, was highly positive, praising “strong policies” to mitigate the negative effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
Brazil-based ECB Group has announced a further postponement of its ambitious US$800m Omega Green bio-refinery project in Villeta, Paraguay...
Argentina’s electricity regulator Ente Nacional Regulador de la Eletricidad (Enre) introduced a 9% increase in the electricity tariffs charged in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires (Amba) effective from 1 May...
PARAGUAY | Pandemic slows recovery prospects...
CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
Central American economies have suffered deep recessions due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, pushing millions into poverty and threatening to spark social unrest, according to a series of recent reports...
Coffee prices have been rising in the last five months to March, according to the London-based International Coffee Organisation (ICO), reaching their highest monthly average since the 2017/2018 harvest...
On 28 April, Belize’s parliament approved a new national budget, the General Revenue Appropriation Bill for fiscal year 2021/22...
COSTA RICA | Unemployment dips...
MEXICO & USMCA
Mexico’s national statistics institute (Inegi) on 30 April released its latest economic data for the first quarter of 2021...
Data published by Mexico’s national statistics institute (Inegi) on 7 May shows that both vehicle production and exports had significant growth rates in April after the sector suffered major disruption in 2020 because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic...
Mexico’s national statistics institute (Inegi) released its latest unemployment figures on 22 April, which show that this reached 3.89% in March, the lowest level so far in the year...
MEXICO | Trade deficit...

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