UN panel forecasts stronger growth in Latin America

Santiago, Dec 12 (IANS/EFE) The Latin American economy will close 2012 with growth of 3.1 percent, down from 4.3 percent last year, but it will experience a rebound next year to 3.8 percent, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said Tuesday.

Santiago-based ECLAC said that the predicted 3.1 percent for this year is greater than the expected world growth of 2.2 percent.

The figure for 2012 shows that the economic crisis has had a negative impact but not a dramatic one in the region, which during the year maintained a certain capacity for resilience in confronting external shocks, ECLAC executive secretary Alicia Barcena said.

The rise in 2013 will occur mainly due to the recovery of countries like Argentina and Brazil and the maintenance of the dynamism of domestic demand in several countries, it said.

The document said, however, that prospects for Latin America will continue to depend to a great extent on the evolution of the world economy in 2013, when the most probable thing is that Europe will maintain its slow rate of growth, including recession in some countries.

In the US and China, a somewhat more positive scenario is predicted, ECLAC said.

In 2012, the main impact of the global crisis in the region was reflected in trade, with growth of only 1.6 percent in the value of exports, compared with 22.3 percent in 2011.

--IANS/EFE

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