While the long-term trend remains positive, however, 2015 also witnessed somewhat slower private equity activity in Latin America as the regional economy faced various headwinds. Regional output declined 0.9 per cent during 2015 as commodity prices fell, interest rates rose and consumer confidence weakened. New private equity investments decreased in 2015 when compared to the prior year, with some reports estimating that annual investments in Latin America fell about 18 per cent to US$6.5 billion on a year-on-year basis. Fundraising also declined in 2015 after peaking the year before. In addition, the exit environment for private equity investors remains a particular challenge in many Latin American countries, affected by depreciating currencies, tepid equity markets and political uncertainty in several countries. In response to these concerns, some private equity firms have responded by extending the life of their funds and delaying exits until a more favourable time. As we noted in years past, for these and other reasons trade sales remained the most favoured exit route for private equity investors in the region, representing 55 per cent of all private equity exit transactions according to some estimates.