P. Forrestal, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, paints a generally rosy economic outlook for South America this year. “As economic growth leads to increased incomes in Latin America, it will, in turn, lead to more trade that increases the incomes of U.S. citizens through job creation,” Mr. Forrestal said.

The one sore spot is Venezuela, he said, chastising that country for its defacto nationalization of its banking system last year. Mexico is in rough shape, but that is only for the short-term, Mr. Forrestal said.

He spoke Thursday, Feb. 16 at a seminar titled:  “Latin America:  An Emerging Global Player.”  The seminar at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Buckhead was sponsored by the Southern Center for International Studies, Regents’ Global Center and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Mr. Forrestal forecast South American approximate growth in Gross Domestic Product and inflation by country:

              GDP    Inflation

Argentina         3%          4%

Brazil            5           100

Chile       5           8

Venezuela         Negative    70

Bolivia           4.5         7

Colombia          5           20

-Peru       8           15-20

-Ecuador          3           15-20

-Assumes border conflict is resolved quickly and peacefully