SANTIAGO, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Latin America and the Caribbean will experience a 3.2-percent economic growth in 2012, affected by the world's economic weakness mainly caused by the difficulties in Europe and United States, a UN agency said Tuesday.
The report from the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (ECLAC) said as the economic growth deceleration during 2011 extended to 2012's first half in this region, the projected growth of 3.2 percent is 0.5 percent lower than the commission's estimate in June.
The report said the Caribbean sub-region will grow 1.6 percent this year, Central America will grow 4.4 percent, and South America will grow 2.8 percent.
According to the report, external trade in the region was affected by the international crisis due to the cooling of external demand and a decreasing trend in the prices of the majority of the basic export goods.
Nevertheless, private consumption had been the main booster of regional growth, thanks to the favorable conditions of the labor markets, credit increase, and in some cases, remittances.
The report said the majority of the South American and Central American countries, besides Mexico, in 2012 would have gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates similar or slightly lower than in 2011, due to consumption expansion and, to a lesser extent, investment.
With a considerable weight on the region's average GDP, Argentina and Brazil will have a growth of 2.0 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, lower than the other countries in the region.
As to inflation, the report said it is keeping a declining trend during 2012's second half, with an average of 5.5 percent in the previous 12 months until June due to the lower growth in food prices.