As in Argentina, Venezuela and Brazil, the social programs in Ecuador that lifted millions out of poverty were underwritten by a commodities boom that sputtered out years ago.Government revenue, around $25 billion a year when oil prices spiked, has now shrunk to less than half that, $11 billion, mainly because of the declining price of oil.That has left the country heavily indebted to China.Ecuador’s economy ground to a halt last year after growing, on average, 4 percent or more from 2006 to 2014.“The model has reached its end because the money has run out,” said César Robalino, a conservative banker at the Pichincha College of Economists in Quito.Mr. Robalino said Ecuador’s next president, regardless of political affiliation, would need to take a tougher line on spending, reduce the number of government workers and cut subsidies like the ones used to reduce gas prices for all Ecuadoreans.
“It’s an anti-status-quo sentiment, just like Brexit and Trump,” Aragão said, “but I don’t think it’s about ideology as much as a lack of results.”
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