Central America Economies Growing, but Social Issues Remain Largely Unaddressed

While a dynamic US economy and stable commodity prices were the main factors driving growth, the region made little progress in more social matters.

central america

Nations in Central America have enjoyed an average of 3.8% economic growth in 2017, according to a study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

However, while a dynamic US economy and stable commodity prices were the main factors driving growth, the region made little progress in more social matters, according to the study.

“These features boosted consumption and regional investment (…), but they have not led to any significant changes in poverty reduction or wealth distribution,” said the report.

Pointing at the new migration policies in the United States, the bank said deportation of illegal immigrants may have a severe impact on the region’s growth by adversely impacting remittances.

This is especially pertinent to Northern Triangle countries, where remittances account for more than 10% of the GDP, 85% of which come from the United States.

Urging the countries to focus on building organized sectors, the bank said that formal jobs increased by mere 6% in Latin American over the past 17 years.

The report also shone light on the region’s education policies and healthcare sector, stating there is an urgent need to change the attitudes of some citizens towards these services.

“If there is only one parent in the household or if the family lives in a rural area, the chances that a child will attend school are lower,” say IDB analysts.

As for health, the higher the mother’s level of education, the more likely it is that her children will have access to health services.

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