Sunday, May 08, 2011

Chile: The Land of 15% Growth

Another reminder that the best form of disaster prep is economic growth and wealth. Chile, however, also shows the world of developed nations a path to sustainable economic growth (Investors' Business Daily):

A year ago, Chile lay in rubble, victim of the world's fifth most powerful earthquake. So Chile's 15.2% growth is a big bounce from a bad setback.

But it shouldn't be dismissed as an anomaly. It's a showy number, but not the only one.

The same day Chile released its data, Goldman Sachs raised its 2011 growth forecast for the country to 6.4% from 6%. In its annual regional business index, Latin Business Chronicle ranked Chile as having the best business climate in Latin America in 2011. [...]

Bamrud says Chile has been turning heads with investors the past year and a half because of its emphasis on improving its corporate environment, its tax regime and its economic freedom, all of which rate highly.

"Chile has always been held out as a model for Latin America, but the reality is ... it's now a model for the U.S.," he said.

Corporate taxes are the second lowest in Latin America at 18%, behind Paraguay's 10%. The Latin average is 28%.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs' chief economist for Latin America, Alberto Ramos, says Chile has wisely fostered growth by reducing the size of government and not printing too much money.

In 2011, it cut government spending to 5% of GDP, or $700 million, more than its projected 5.5%. So GDP has room to grow 6.4%, rather than 6% as first estimated.

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