June saw a slowdown in global economic indicators. Our main takeaway, based on market data and economic news, point towards the potential for a regional – if not global – economic slowdown.

As global and regional economies slow down, it is important for manufacturers in Latin American and South American countries to consider domestic and international sources for raw materials to control costs. Here are the top metrics we’re looking at this month.

Market Metrics to Watch

By examining current market trends and economic indicators from the first two quarters of 2019, insight can be provided into how the Latin American will shape out for Q3 and Q4 of 2019.

Brazil’s Inflation Rate

Brazil’s government is planning to reduce the inflation target it sets to its central bank to 3.5% by 2022 from 4.25%. While the change may force the central bank to adopt tighter monetary policy, in the short term it is likely to boost investor confidence in the government’s commitment to reining in prices. Below is a chart showing Brazil’s inflation rate over the last year.

Adjusted GDP Expectations

Top Latin American countries Brazil and Mexico experienced slow economic growth in the first half of 2019. Due to this lower-than-expected growth, 2019 GDP for Brazil and Mexico were adjusted to 1.0% and 1.6%, respectively.

Executive Perspective

Leeco Steel’s CEO and President, Denton Nordhues, sees an opportunity for Leeco Steel Trading to offer new raw material imports as the division expands.

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“As our trading division continues to grow, we are expanding our import capabilities to meet customer demand,” Denton said. “Plastics, fertilizers and pharmaceuticals are a few raw material categories in high-demand that we plan to begin offering to our customers. We look forward to forging new relationships during this expansion and continuing to better serve our Latin American region customers.”

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Economic News to Follow

Despite signs of a regional economic slowdown, Mexico and Chile recently reported some economic news pointing to future growth.

Mexico

Mexico’s economy is currently holding steady, with increased foreign investments, declining inflation and an appreciating currency. Mexico received $10 billion USD in foreign direct investments during the first quarter of 2019, up 7% from the same quarter last year. Mexico also started 2019 with a lower-than-expected inflation rate of 4.43%, and the peso appreciated 6% since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December of 2018.

Chile

The potential growth of Chile’s economy experienced a sharp increase as a high number of immigrants entered the country from Venezuela. The increase in immigration to Chile led to a larger potential workforce.