§ 23. Brian White
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment the International Monetary Fund has made of the current economic situation in South America. 
§ Ruth Kelly
The latest IMF assessment of economic developments and prospects in Latin America was in its 'World Economic Outlook', published in September 2002. That showed 2002 was a difficult year, with an estimated fall in GDP of 0.6 per cent. for the region, but a recovery is expected during 2003. Growth rates experienced in 2002 varied widely, but countries with sound policy frameworks were generally better able to withstand the period of uncertainty.