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Latin America, Caribbean 2013 GDP to Grow 3.8% -U.N. Eclac

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12/11/2012 | 03:25pm EDT

--Latin American and Caribbean economies will grow 3.1% in 2012, Eclac says

--Argentina and Brazil's economies will boost regional growth in 2013

--China's economic growth will also increase its appetite for Latin American goods

(Update with more details and comments from an Eclac economist)

By Graciela Ibanez

SANTIAGO, Chile--The economies of Latin America and the Caribbean will likely grow 3.8% year-on-year in 2013 and 3.1% this year, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, or Eclac, said Tuesday.

China's 2013 economic growth, which Eclac expects to increase from 2012 as its appetite for Latin American goods improves, coupled with economic recoveries in Argentina and Brazil will all boost the region's expansion next year, the U.N. commission said in a statement.

Mining exporters, such as Chile and Peru, highly depend on China as the Asian country is the world's largest consumer of commodities.

"China won't continue decelerating so Latin American exports, particularly natural resources, will increase [to the Asian country]," said Juan Alberto Fuentes, director of the commission's economic development division.

In the region, Argentina and Brazil are among the largest economies and while Argentina will see a recovery in its agricultural sector, Brazil will see a comeback in its manufacturing sector as well as more investment in 2013, Eclac said.

Argentina will see an increase in its soybean shipments to China, Mr. Fuentes said. Argentina is one of the world's largest soybean producers.

Brazil is expected to receive large investments along several economic sectors ahead of the 2014 soccer World Cup.

Eclac expects Argentina to grow 3.9% in 2013 and Brazil to grow 4%.

Andean economies such as Chile, Peru and Colombia, meanwhile, will grow 4.8%, 6% and 4.5%, respectively, next year as domestic demand will remain strong.

Despite a grim global outlook, some countries, such as Chile, didn't decelerate as quickly as expected in 2012 on the back of robust domestic demand.

Another large country, Mexico, will see its gross domestic product gain 3.5% next year, Eclac said. Mexico's economy relies heavily on its northern neighbor as the U.S. receives nearly 80% of Mexican exports.

Improving real estate and labor markets as well as a reshaped banking system will contribute to higher growth in the U.S. next year, Eclac said.

In 2011, the region's GDP increased 4.3% versus 2010. The region's expected 3.1% 2012 growth will surpass the world's 2.2% surge, Eclac said.

Write Graciela Ibanez to graciela.ibanez@dowjones.com

Corrections & Amplifications

This item was corrected at 3:54 p.m. EDT to show that The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, or Eclac, expects Brazil's economy to grow 4% in 2013. The original incorrectly stated 1.2%.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EURO / ARGENTINE PESO (EUR/ARS) 0.03% 80.0436 Delayed Quote.18.34%
EURO / BRAZILIAN REAL (EUR/BRL) 0.07% 6.0661 Delayed Quote.32.63%
SOYBEAN OIL FUTURES (ZL) - CBE (ELECTRONIC)/C1 1.65% 28.42 End-of-day quote.-18.21%
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