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Latin America loses its lustre: long-term investors remain, but others looking elsewhere

by Sheila Hopkins

Just a few years ago, Latin America — especially Brazil and Mexico — seemed to be on everyone’s radar. A growing middle class, improving GDP and a lack of modern residential assets and commercial buildings made it an attractive region for those looking for higher returns.

How things have changed. According to The World Bank, South American economies hit a wall in 2014. Some of the largest economies in the region found themselves slipping into recession with weak domestic fundamentals being exacerbated by China’s cooling economy and declining global commodity prices.

Brazil’s GDP growth rate, for example, fell from 2.5 percent in 2013 to just 0.1 percent in 2014. According to FocusEconomics, retail sales recorded the largest contraction on record in December 2014, and economic activity hit a six-month low. The weak economic data, combined with a deteriorating outlook for 2015 that has the country teetering on the edge of recession, ha

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