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Latin American Economies Face Risky 2005

Latin America enjoyed robust economic growth last year, but a new report by the Inter-American Development Bank warns that several factors could reverse that trend in 2005.

The IADB says Latin American nations' overall economic growth was 5.5 percent in 2004, thanks to China's increasing demand for raw materials, including steel. However, Beijing has taken several steps to slow its economy, which grew to by 9.5 percent last year, which the bank says will have an immediate effect on global trade and the price of commodities.

In addition to a possible economic slowdown by China, the Inter-American Development Bank says, rising U.S. interest rates and a falling dollar could affect Latin America, where many countries already have massive levels of public debt.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.