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This paper examines the fiscal policy options that were available to Latin American countries at the onset of the current global economic crisis. It concludes that most of the major countries in the region possessed the fiscal space (as measured by credible fiscal sustainability and debt headroom) to run prudent countercyclical fiscal deficits. For those countries, the appropriate policy response involved a constrained fiscal expansion focused on productive public spending and financed by drawing on the "Rainy day" funds - in the form of large stocks of foreign exchange reserves - which they accumulated in prior years rather than by market borrowing.
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