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LATIN AMERICA: "South American Auto Manufacturing" report

LATIN AMERICA: "South American Auto Manufacturing" report. 8-page report by Oliver Wyman.

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back to index backLATINtalk May,  2017


After 2 years in the doldrums, economies in the Americas are back on the road to growth

Latin American and Caribbean nations are expected to return to economic growth this year after two consecutive years in the negative column. But when analysts talk about the prospects for 2017, the words they use are slow, shallow recovery and subdued growth.

The U.N.'s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ECLAC estimates regional GDP growth will reach 1.3 percent this year, compared to a contraction of 1.1 percent in 2016. Commodity prices are still relatively low but improving, the Chinese economy has slowed, and global growth rates are fairly anemic with uncertainty in major markets from the United States to the euro area.

Charles Cheng, vice president of TM Cell, a Doral-based distributor of cellphones and other electronics in the Americas, isn't expecting a stellar year, either: 'This year we'll probably see for the first time what I would call a mediocre year for the cellphone business.'

But part of that has to do with the cellphone business itself. The market is becoming saturated in Latin America. For the first decade after its 2004 launch, all TM Cell knew was continuous growth. It never had a single down year.

Last year, the company which distributes Alcatel-branded, iSwag, and ADATA products as well as its own Logic brand and MyKronoz Swiss smart watches throughout Latin America and the Caribbean sold 3 million handsets.

'Since 2014, the market has been getting rockier,' Cheng said. To succeed now, he said, 'it's a matter of moving faster than the competition. It's all about being one step ahead.' As cellphone penetration in the region increases, the company has become more sensitive to economic ups and downs in regional markets.

This will be a year of adjustments in Latin America and the Caribbean as regional governments try to encourage the green shoots of recovery at the same time they endeavor to make the fiscal accommodations necessitated by lower commodity prices for their most important exports.

Source: Miami Herald - GAI



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