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Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2012

Policies for an Adverse International Economy

image of Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2012
The Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2013 analyses the policies required to improve the perspectives of sustainable regional growth. It reviews the links between economic growth and investment and employment, as well as the fiscal and monetary policies, industrial, trade and social policies relevant for short and long-term growth. Special attention is given to regional key issues such as its structural heterogeneity, its high levels of inequality and the challenges of environmental sustainability. Additionally, the region’s economic evolution during the first semester of 2013 is analyzed in this survey.

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Executive summary

The slowdown in economic growth posted by Latin America and the Caribbean in 2011 continued through the first half of 2012, prompting ECLAC to project that economic activity would expand by 3.2% for the year as a whole. Private consumption was the main driver of growth, thanks to favourable labour market trends, an expansion of credit and, in some cases, an increase in remittances. In a number of countries, brisk investment (especially in the construction sector) and net exports helped temper the slowdown. Overall, though, foreign trade was the primary channel through which the faltering global economy impacted the economic performance of Latin America and the Caribbean: the price of most of the region’s main export commodities trended down, and external demand cooled markedly, particularly in Europe and Asia. As a result, most of the countries are seeing deteriorating terms of trade and slightly wider balance-of-payments current account deficits reflecting a downturn in the trade balance.

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