The aim of this second Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Special Report is to quantify the economic impact of the pandemic in the short and medium-term. With regard the short term —during the course of 2020— estimates shed light on the dynamics of production, employment, poverty and income distribution, based on data available at 17 April 2020, for all the subregions of Latin America and the Caribbean and many of their economies. The report also provides details of the main macroeconomic policy measures to tackle the effects of the pandemic that have been announced to date.
Quantifying the decline in economic activity enables authorities to determine the magnitude of the effort required for a return to normal. However, this return to normal will not and should not mean going back to the way things were before the pandemic. The medium-term vision that concludes this report describes the structural changes in the organization of production that are already under way and are expected to gather pace. There will also be impacts —in some cases irreversible— on the labour structure, employment and well-being.
Quantitative estimates for the short term, combined with forecasts of the main qualitative changes in the medium term, will shape what will become a new normal.