UN Ups Outlook for Peru’s GDP, Lowers Regional Forecast

The United Nations on Tuesday raised its forecast for Peru’s economic growth this year, while it lowered its outlook for the overall growth of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In a report, the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, ECLAC, said that Peru’s gross domestic product is expected to expand 5.9 percent this year, up from a forecast of 5.7 percent released in June.

Peru would have one of Latin America’s fastest growing economies, and the fastest rise in GDP of major economies in the region. The only other economies that are expected to grow faster this year are Panama, up 9.5 percent, and Haiti, up 6.0 percent.

For the region, ECLAC lowered its forecast to 3.2 percent from 3.7 percent, citing “the weak global economy.”

“The economic performance of Latin America and the Caribbean in 2012 and 2013 is largely subject to the form taken by adjustment processes in developed countries, as well as the slowdown in China. It will also be dependent on the region’s own response capacity”, said Alicia Barcena, ECLAC’s executive secretary.

Growth in Argentina is seen at 2.0 percent this year, while Brazil’s economy is expected to expand 1.6 percent. Chile is seen up 5.0 percent and Colombia up 4.5 percent, while Mexico’s economy is forecast to gain 4.0 percent. Paraguay is the only country in the region seen with a contraction in its economy, seen down 2.0 percent this year.

“The scenario predicted for 2013 includes a continuation of the slight downward growth trend for most South American countries, as they are more dependent on commodity exports to China, with growth similar to 2012 levels for Mexico and Central American countries,” ECLAC says.

“In the Caribbean, the recovery will be gradual, with growth rates slightly higher than in 2012 in countries that are the most dependent on tourism,” it adds.

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