On the whole, the 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean showed higher resilience during and after the 2008-2009 global financial crisis than other regions of the developing or developed world. This resilience stems from a combination of factors. Sustained efforts to maintain macroeconomic stability and achieve some fiscal discipline, even in times of crisis, have made a positive difference. So have efforts to take advantage of the rising prices of many of the region's export commodities in order to underpin economic growth.
Such efforts have enabled countries in the region to implement countercyclical economic policies to differing degrees. In addition, the region has seen a positive trend in poverty reduction and modest improvements in inequality.
However, the financial crisis did adversely affect economic growth and employment levels across the region. After a mild economic downturn in 2009 equivalent to 1.6 per cent of the region´s GDP, the Latin American economy grew, on average, 5.3 per cent in the 2010-2011 period. It is expected to grow around 3.9 per cent annually over the next five years – subject to the effects of the crisis in Europe and of China's economic slowdown.