Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Latin America rapidly becoming a middle-class continent, according to ECLAC

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on April 20, 2011

by Merco Press News, April 20th, 2011.

Latin America’s middle class increased by 56 million since 1999 with a direct consequence on consumption patterns and demand for government policies, according to a report in the latest edition of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean, ECLAC Review.

“This represents a formidable increase of the consumers’ market”, according to the ECLAC newsletter featuring expert analysis on issues such as changes observed in the middle classes in recent years, and the “China effect” on the region’s exports.

The greatest expansion of the middle class, –described as people earning at least four times the poverty line–, took place in Brazil where 38 million climbed to that condition in the last ten years, totalling 61 million middle class Brazilians.

In contrast Argentina’s middle class has experienced a decline from 56% to 52% of the total population. Guerrilla-torn Colombia has gone through a similar process. In the rest of the region there was an overall advance which in some cases has meant that some families averaged 15.000 US dollars annually.

“The expansion of the middle class has not been a phenomenon restricted to Latin American but rather is a global tendency”, says the ECLAC report. An estimated 1.3 billion world population can be categorized as such, mainly because of advances in China and India.(continue reading… )

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