The International Monetary Fund is heaping praise on Uruguay.

The IMF's annual review Friday describes the small country wedged between Brazil and Argentina as a model of "spectacular growth" and "prudent macroeconomic policies."

IMF regional chief Ulric Erickson von Allmen also praised Uruguay's "deft debt management," ''robust banks, and a lack of apparent bubbles" that have protected Uruguay's economy from outside shocks. Strong real wage growth is boosting the nation's consumer economy.

The IMF estimates Uruguay's inflation will be 4 percent next year — much less than its neighbors but still worrisome enough to require restraining wages and government spending.