The release of Q4 national accounts data showed GDP growth rebounding by 3.1% (y-o-y), up from 2.7% in the prior three months. This took the full-year GDP figure for 2012 to 4.0%. The final quarter performance was lifted by construction activity, while manufacturing remained a drag. On the demand side, growth in final consumption was largely unchanged at 4.1% (y-o-y), although gross fixed investment did post a moderate rebound of 3.4%. For 2013, our panel is now predicting growth of 4.1%.
Meanwhile, interest rates were unexpectedly slashed by 50 basis points to 3.25% in March. Officials cited weak growth, low inflation and the slow transmission of previous rate cuts as factors influencing its recent decision.
You can download a sample of Latin America Consensus Forecasts at www.consensuseconomics.com.