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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All three engines of the global economy, especially the euro zone, slowed in 2012, sapping a recovery that was already the slowest in 40 years. The crisis is deepening in the euro zone, after five quarters of growth close to 0%. This is having a direct impact on the United States and China, for both of which the European Union was the largest export market in 2011. The United States is in a period of slow, vulnerable growth. Despite massive revitalization programmes, the recovery is proving to be the slowest of the entire post-war period. As a result China’s exports are faltering too, and its demand for raw materials imports is slackening.

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