Quelle décennie pour l'Amérique latine ?

SANTIAGO – La Banque interaméricaine pour le développement a déclaré en juillet dernier que la décennie à venir allait être celle de l'Amérique latine. Deux mois plus tard, The Economist reprend l'idée, suivi par une nuée d'experts et d'admirateurs de la région.

Et rien de mieux qu'une petite phase de croissance économique pour que l'on entende partout ces fameux experts. Car l'Amérique latine est en croissance, 6% l'année dernière et 4,75% cette année selon les prévisions du FMI. Si l'on compare à son bilan économique plutôt médiocre des 30 ans précédents, c'est un bon démarrage pour l'Amérique latine. Et par rapport à ce qui se passe en Amérique du Nord et en Europe, sa croissance est remarquable. La Bourse y est en forte hausse depuis la crise et il en est de même de l'immobilier dans les quelques pays de la région qui ont des archives en la matière. Il n'est donc pas étonnant que son décollage économique suscite tant d'engouement.

Pourtant rappelons-nous qu'au début des années 1980 on considérait aussi avec optimisme l'Amérique latine. Les banques des USA lui accordaient des prêts à tour de bras, tandis que l'Argentine, le Chili et l'Uruguay étaient en forte croissance. Mais quand Paul Volcker a augmenté les taux d'intérêt aux USA, le flot de  dollars s'est tari, la plupart des pays latino-américains se dont trouvés en difficulté pour rembourser et les années 1980 sont devenues une "décennie perdue".

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