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LIMA, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Latin America is now in a weaker position than in 2008 to respond to external economic shocks because of higher debt levels and falling growth potential, a top IMF official said Thursday.
"It's a tougher situation and therefore countries should be careful with how they react to this scenario," said Alejandro Werner, the IMF's director for the Western Hemisphere Department.
The IMF will likely announce a lower estimate for 2015 economic growth in Latin America and the Carribean in annual meetings next month, Werner said. In July the IMF had forecast a 0.5 percent expansion. (Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)