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Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Economy 2011-2012

Continuing Crisis in the Centre and New Opportunities for Developing Economies

image of Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Economy 2011-2012
The 2011-2012 edition focuses on the theme of continuing crisis in the centre and new opportunities for developing economies. Chapter I examines the difficult international economic situation and the outlook for the rest of the decade. Chapter II takes stock of the boom in commodity prices that began around 2003 and its evolving impact on the value of the region’s exports, drawing particular attention to the growing role of developing Asia, especially China, as a destination for commodity exports from Latin America and the Caribbean. Chapter III looks at recent performance and the short-term outlook for trade and economic integration in the region. It analyses foreign trade trends in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2011 and 2012 by main trading partner and category of product for the region overall and for the subregions. Chapter IV examines the international integration of Latin America and the Caribbean in relation to the trends discussed in the rest of the document.

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Trade and economic integration in Latin America and the Caribbean: Recent performance and short-term outlook

This chapter begins with a brief analysis of foreign trade in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2011, broken down according to major partners and product categories for the region and its subregions. This analysis reveals a sharp slowdown starting in the second half of 2011. Section C reviews the region’s external trade performance during the first half of 2012 and presents forecasts for the year as a whole. These point to a meagre expansion in both imports and exports, which have been dampened by the crisis in the euro zone, faltering economic growth in the United States and Japan, and slower growth in China and other emerging economies. Preliminary trade figures for January to June 2012 indicate that the slowdown, especially among European economies, is already being transmitted through trade flows. Regional exports grew by 4% over this period, and imports by 6%, while a growth rate of around 4% for exports and 3% for imports is forecast for the year as a whole.

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