Latin American economy to grow this year: UN panel

Santiago, April 24 (IANS/EFE) Latin America and the Caribbean will grow at a rate of 3.5 percent in 2013, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) said here Tuesday, revising downward its earlier forecast of 3.8 percent growth this year.

In an updated economic assessment, ECLAC predicted that the economies of the region will get a push this year after their growth rates slowed in 2012.

The forecasts are based on better economic performance by Brazil and Argentina, countries that in 2012 grew 0.9 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

ECLAC estimates that the Brazilian economy will grow 3 percent this year and the Argentine economy 3.5 percent.

On the regional level, the expansion will be supported by a continuation of the boom in consumption, a consequence of good labour indicators and the increase in bank lending to households.

The more conservative forecast for growth this year is due mainly to the persistence of uncertainty in the international economy and the lack of economic dynamism in the developed countries, the Santiago-based UN commission said.

Paraguay will lead the expansion in 2013 with expected growth of 10 percent, followed by Panama with 8 percent and by Peru and Haiti, both of which are expected to grow by 6 percent.



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