The current world economic crisis has hit Latin America very hard. Although financial conditions have deteriorated, particularly since September 2008, the financial shock has been less severe than during the two previous crises. Thanks to improvements in external balance sheets, there has been room for counter-cyclical credit and monetary policies. The decision to absorb large capital inflows during the boom as foreign exchange reserves is one of the major sources of the increased room to manoeuvre. However, these strengths have been insufficient in the face of a strong trade shock. The region's economies should therefore seriously think again in the domestic market, with regional integration and active production sector policies as engines of growth. Copyright The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.
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