Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean 2012

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This publication shows that the global economic crisis has had a negative, albeit not dramatic, impact in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. Global financial instability led to smaller inflows of short-term capital and a more volatile exchange rate in Brazil and Mexico, but eased pressures towards currency appreciation. Monetary policy was slightly expansionary. The fiscal position deteriorated in most countries, but fiscal policies have remained predominantly prudent. The region’s economy proved resilient, despite the global economic downturn. Employment and wages rose, with unemployment falling more among women than among men, but there are signs that growth in “quality” employment has slowed. The outlook for 2013 is again for lacklustre and uncertain external conditions.

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The external sector

Growth in the global economy fell slightly from 2.7% in 2011 to 2.2% in 2012. The main reason was the recession in a number of eurozone countries and its consequences for Asia and Latin America, which grew less briskly than they had in 2011, albeit still faster than the global economy as a whole. Although there were improvements in the United States and Japanese economies, these were not enough to offset the slackening performance in Europe.

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