ING Barings trimmed its Latin America GDP growth forecasts for 1998. The firm also expects slower progress in the reduction of inflation and additional currency weakness because of spillover from the Asian crisis.
Overall, the region will register real GDP growth of less than 3.5%, this year, down from 5.25%, forecasted Arturo Porzecanski, ING Barings' chief economist for the Americas. For several countries, ING Barings has cut its GDP growth forecasts from expectations of two months ago. Countries with reduced 1998 growth forecasts are: Chile, trimmed to 5.5% from 6.5%; Colombia, 4.4% from 4.8%; Ecuador, 2.5% from 3.4%; and Mexico and Venezuela, both cut to 5% from 5.5%.