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ECLAC forecasts weak economic growth for 2021

HAVANA, Cuba, Dec 17 (ACN) The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) offered an updated preliminary balance of the region during 2020, according to which this year the region's economy will contract by 7.7 percent.

When presenting the study, in a virtual press conference in Santiago de Chile, Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC's executive secretary, explained that the growth forecast for 2021 responds to a "statistical rebound" because it has a very low comparison base with respect to this year, which is why the 2019 levels would only be achieved in 2024, according to the regional organization's official website.

The report points out that Latin America and the Caribbean is the region most affected by the crisis of the COVID-19, added to the low growth of the last decade, which translates into the worst economic crisis of the last 120 years.

Bárcena also warned that growth in 2021 is subject to high uncertainty due to the risk of resurgence of the pandemic, the agility to produce and distribute the vaccines and the capacity to maintain the stimulus to the productive sectors.

The region's structural weaknesses, inequality, low coverage and access to social protection, high labor informality and low productivity are central to understanding the extent of the pandemic's effects on economies and their difficulties in undertaking sustainable recovery, he said.

The new coronavirus pandemic crippled regional economies, which are heavily dependent on income from tourism and the service sector.

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