Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Latin America: Continent rides high after years of default and deflation

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on September 13, 2010

by John Paul Rathbone for Financial Times, September 13th, 2010.

For many years, the predominant outside view of Latin America was of “a man with a moustache, a guitar and a revolver,” as Nobel-prize-winning Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once put it.

But the continent has changed. Despite the reality-distorting perception generated by headlines about drug-traffickers and emigration, there has been a quiet but profound transformation over the past two decades that some believe, may make the next decade its own.

The continent still has many poor people, but what is defining it now is its rising middle class.

In Brazil alone, over the past decade 30m people have joined the ranks of the middle class. This remarkable change has transformed the way consumer goods companies now treat the country. The story has been repeated throughout the region.

Since 2000, the region has been the one place in the world where inequality has fallen: both in relatively rich countries (such as Mexico) and in poor ones (such as Bolivia); in those with socialist style economies (Venezuela) and free marketeers (such as Colombia); in those with large Amerindian populations (Peru) or without (Argentina). (continue reading… )

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