September 30, 2023

For those who learn something in regards to the prospects for the financial system in Latin America in 2023, the information isn’t very optimistic. The Financial Fee of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) informed Bloomberg in November that whereas some costs on meals and different items have come down from their inflationary highs, it has not been enough to improve the growth prospects for the area in 2023. 

The financial system in Latin America’s 2023 projection is barely down from 1.4 % development, whereas ECLAC expects the region’s economies to expand by 3.7 percent this 12 months, up from a earlier forecast of three.2 %.

Inflation throughout the area has been excessive for nearly two years now, and most indicators level to it being an issue effectively into the brand new 12 months. And that, coupled with the persevering with energy of the US greenback, will put stress on Latin American currencies (because the US is the largest buying and selling accomplice of most nations within the area), and likewise as a result of many corporations in Latin America solely settle for cost in US {dollars}.

The sluggish, even stagnant development projections for some nations (such as Colombia, for example) doesn’t bode effectively for buyers, entrepreneurs and firms considering of beginning a enterprise in Latin America within the new 12 months.

However these results will range extensively from one nation to the subsequent; some Latin American currencies are performing higher than others. Earlier than we go any additional, let’s check out the wealthy mosaic of currencies present in Latin America.

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Record of Latin American currencies by nation

What follows is a listing of each Latin American country and their national currencies:

  • Argentina – peso
  • Belize – Belize greenback
  • Bolivia – boliviano
  • Brazil – actual
  • Chile – peso
  • Colombia – peso
  • Costa Rica – colón
  • Cuba – convertible peso
  • Dominican Republic – peso 
  • Ecuador – US greenback
  • El Salvador – US greenback 
  • French Guiana – euro
  • Guatemala – quetzal 
  • Guyana – Guyanese greenback
  • Haiti – gourde 
  • Honduras – lempira
  • Mexico – peso 
  • Nicaragua – córdoba  
  • Panama – US greenback 
  • Paraguay – guarani
  • Peru – sol
  • Puerto Rico – US greenback 
  • Suriname – Surinamese greenback
  • Uruguay – peso
  • Venezuela – bolivar

Whereas there may be downward stress on currencies towards the USD throughout the area, a handful of Latin American currencies have bucked the pattern and have appreciated in worth over the previous 12 months. Why? All of it comes down to a few causes, according to the economic research firm Oxford Business Group:

  • Aggressive central financial institution charge hikes
  • Robust commodity costs
  • Shifting provide chains away from China 

Whereas most Latin American currencies are down (many by a big margin), three Latin American currencies have really appreciated this 12 months.

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Latin American currencies: Winners and losers in 2022

Right here’s a break-down of how the currencies of the area’s six greatest economies performed against the US dollar in 2022.


  • Brazil: +7.49%
  • Mexico: +6.35%
  • Peru: +5.34%


  • Argentina: -41.04%
  • Colombia: -16.54%
  • Chile: -4.26%

Simply earlier than what’s generally known as the “post-Covid” period, the central banks of Brazil and Mexico made aggressive strikes to nip the approaching torrent of inflation within the bud. Brazil’s central bank carried out 12 straight hikes to push its charge from 2 % in March 2021 to 13.75 % in September, nevertheless it has signaled that it’ll pump the breaks on their inflation-fighting measures after client costs recorded two consecutive month-to-month drops.

For its half, Mexico’s central bank also pushed up its rate 5.25 percentage points since June 2021, together with a 0.75 proportion level enhance on September 29 in order that it reached 8.5 %, as inflation hit a two-decade excessive within the first half of the month.

The 2 Latin American currencies have additionally benefitted from a repositioning of the worldwide provide chain in latest months. On account of the US-China commerce struggle, many US companies have shifted manufacturing away from China and are nearshoring or “friend-shoring” nearer to house, and Mexico and Brazil have been the principle Latin American beneficiaries of this pattern. 

Moreover, the spike in commodity costs, particularly oil & gasoline after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have boosted revenues of each Mexico and Brazil’s fossil gasoline export-heavy economies. This pattern may have helped Colombia’s financial state of affairs – because it too depends closely on oil & gasoline exports – however the brand new president Gustavo Petro’s very public pledge to transition away from fossil fuels has cast a cloud of uncertainty over Colombia’s energy sector, and this has severely curtailed overseas funding within the nation. 

Biz Latin Hub may help you

At Biz Latin Hub, we offer built-in market entry and back-office providers all through Latin America and the Caribbean, with places of work in Bogota and Cartagena, in addition to over a dozen different main cities within the area. We even have trusted companions in lots of different markets.

Our unrivalled attain means we’re ideally positioned to help multi-jurisdiction market entries and cross border operations.

In addition to information about Latin American currencies, our portfolio of providers consists of hiring & PEO accounting & taxation, firm formation, and company authorized providers.

Contact us right now to search out out extra about how we will help you to find expertise, or in any other case do enterprise in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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