According to new data from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), FDI to the region will decline in 2009 by 35% to 45% from its record peak of $128.3bn in 2008 – which was 13.4% higher than its 2007 level. In 2008, the region increased its share of global FDI to 39% from 31% in 2007.

ECLAC predicts that manu­facturing and retail will be the worst-affected sectors as a result of falling demand and investor caution, leading to the postponement of new investment projects. Countries with high levels of trade dependence on US demand, such as Mexico and some Caribbean nations, will suffer the most.