Consumer inflation in Chile during December was negative, 1.2%, the lowest since 1996, helping the overall consumers' prices index (CPI) to close 2008 at 7.1%, according to the latest release from the country's Statistics Institute, INE.
Toyota is to halt production at all 12 of its Japanese factories for 11 days in February and March as it tries to reduce its stock of unsold cars. It had already announced a three-day halt for January, but before that it had not cut production since 1993, when it did so for one day.
The Euro has slipped against the pound and the dollar as expectations rise that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates again on 15 January.
Uruguay exports grew by 31.3% in value in 2008, its biggest increase in the last four years, despite the negative effects that the international financial crisis had on the country in the last two months of the year, according to an official report.
Chile announced a stimulus plan increasing spending by four billion US dollars in an effort to create jobs and prop the economy. This means that for the first time in six years Chile will run a budget deficit, 2.9% of GDP.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez forecasted that the unity of the world's big producers of crude will restore stability to global petroleum markets and anticipated that even if the price of Venezuelan oil falls to zero, the Bolivarian revolution will continue.
The share of total assets held by Brazil's five largest banks rose to 65.72% at the close of 2008, up more than 13 percentage points from the end of the previous year, according to Central bank figures quoted by financial and business daily Valor.
Britain's biggest building society has said house prices fell by a record 15.9% during 2008 as it warned the property market was in for another turbulent year. Nationwide said prices were likely to have further to fall before significant numbers of buyers returned to the market, although it stopped short of making a specific forecast for price drops in 2009.
A forest fire that was preventing tourists from reaching Uruguay's sea resorts, including the upscale vacation spot of Punta del Este has been brought under control, although fire-fighters and the military were still working to extinguish the blaze completely, officials said.
Wealthy Latin Americans are among the biggest victims of an alleged 50 billion US dollars Ponzi scheme orchestrated by financier Bernard Madoff, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.