With annual economic growth for Latin America and the Caribbean being projected at 4,6%, 2008 will mark both the sixth consecutive year of growth and the end of a period which has very few precedents in the economic history of the region. Growth in 2009 is projected to stand at 1.9%. This estimate is built on the assumption that the global economy in general, and the economy of the region in particular, will gradually begin to recover during the second half of 2009. The preliminary overview includes official country figures and an analysis of developments in the region's economy in 2008 and projections for 2009. It covers primary economic indicators such as: Gross Domestic Product (GDP), inflation, imports/exports, and unemployment. Key economic trends are identified and their causes are explained.