New IMF Report Contain Dubious Growth Projections

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Some of the IMF's economic growth projections for Latin American and Caribbean countries through 2014 appear questionable, according to a new issue brief from the Center for Economic and Policy Research. The issue brief, "Troubled Assets: The IMF's Latest Projections for Economic Growth in the Western Hemisphere" by economist David Rosnick, finds that for some countries - most notably Venezuela and Argentina - the IMF's projections inexplicably portend a prolonged negative impact of the current world recession, even as countries harder-hit by the downturn, such as Mexico, recover. In other cases, such as Haiti, the IMF projects a surprisingly big growth spurt.

"Of course the IMF is upset with Venezuela and Argentina because of these governments' criticisms of the Fund. But that's no reason to publish implausible economic forecasts for these economies," said CEPR Co-Director and economist, Mark Weisbrot.

Venezuela grew at an average of 7.1 percent per year from 2002-08, but the IMF projects it to lose 0.1 percent per year through 2014. Along with Argentina and Panama, Venezuela has been one of the fastest growing economies in the Western Hemisphere over the last six years, yet it is the only country in the region that the IMF anticipates will not recover by 2014. This projection appears highly improbable, especially compared to the IMF's projections for Mexico. Although it is much more heavily dependent on trade with the U.S. than Venezuela is, the IMF projects that Mexico will grow 2.9 percent per year over the next six years, after shrinking by 3.7 percent in 2009.

"The forecast for Venezuela is the least believable of all. If anyone at the IMF wants to put some money on this, I am happy to put up $10,000 on the bet that Venezuela will have an increase in real GDP over the next six years," Weisbrot said.

Haiti, at 0.9 percent per year, experienced the slowest growth of any country in the region since 2002. Yet the IMF is projecting Haiti to grow an average of 2.8 percent per year for the next six years, placing it squarely in the middle of the region.

The IMF has a track record of enormous errors in its economic growth forecasts for both Venezuela and Argentina. These countries have criticized the IMF in recent years and have also experienced very rapid growth over the last six years, contrary to IMF forecasts.


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Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump

February 17, 2017 · $20.00 USD

Location: MayDay Space
Where: 176 St Nicholas Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
When: Friday, February 17th at 6 PM to Sunday, February 19th to 4 PM

Political Context

This Presidents’ Day weekend, the Young Democratic Socialists will gather for our annual winter conference in New York City titled Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump. We did not choose the name lightly. In doing so, we call for leftists to collectively confront Trump and Trumpism at every possible opportunity. When a Trump administration attempts mass deportations of undocumented workers, when it attempts to register Muslims or roll back worker protections, when it attempts to take away reproductive, LGTBQ, civil, or any other rights, then we must militantly resist to prevent such measures.

To succeed, this must be explicitly socialist resistance. With liberalism having repeatedly shown itself incapable of combating the far right, it is now the time for socialists to openly declare our place in building the mass, multi-racial, and working class movement necessary for defeating the Trump administration. In this struggle, millennials will play an outsized role. That is why this conference comes at such a critical time—together we must create spaces for democratic and strategic discussion, spaces to gain organizing skills, and most importantly, spaces to form networks of young radicals for the future struggles ahead. These spaces will only come together if socialists come together. Join us this Presidents Weekend and help ignite the movement to defeat the Trump administration, continue the political revolution, and build the socialist alternative.

Key Deadlines

  • January 8th: Travel Scholarship for Air Travel (for application see below)
  • January 15th: Travel Scholarship for Non-Air Travel (ex: bus, car, train, etc.)
  • February 3rd: Early Bird Registration Ends - Tickets prices go up from $5 to $10
  • February 10th: Free Housing - We have limited free housing. You need to first register, then you will be sent an application for free housing.

Apply for a travel scholarship here! (First Deadline January 8, 2017)

Check out the working program (subject to change)