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SANTIAGO, April 29 (Reuters) - The economies of Latin America and the Caribbean will grow less this year than previously forecast, hurt by lower-than-expected dynamism in top economies Brazil and Mexico, the United Nations’ economic body for Latin America said on Tuesday.
The region is expected to post economic growth of 2.7 percent this year, slightly above 2013’s rate of 2.5 percent but well under the 3.2 percent expansion it forecast in December.
Global market uncertainty will continue to weigh on the region, which depends heavily on exports of oil, metals and grains, the Santiago-based Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean said.
Activity indicators for developed countries were improving, ECLAC said.
“There is caution, however, on the situation in China, one of the region’s main trade partners, which set a minimum growth goal of 7 (percent) for this year.”
The economy of regional powerhouse Brazil is poised to grow 2.3 percent, identical to last year’s rate, ECLAC said.
Mexico, Latin America’s No.2 economy, will enjoy growth of 3 percent in 2014, a pick up from the paltry 1.1 percent posted last year.
“The United States’ recovery will have a positive impact on the economies of its closest neighbors, especially Mexico and Central America,” said ECLAC.
ECLAC had forecast in December that this year Brazil and Mexico would grow 2.6 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.
Also contributing to a forecast for more moderate growth are economic problems in Argentina and Venezuela, the organization added.
“In some countries, disequilibria that had become evident in recent years worsened in the course of 2013, and adjustments became increasingly necessary. This was particularly the case in Argentina and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” ECLAC said.
It predicted that Argentina would grow 1 percent in 2014, and Venezuela would contract 0.5 percent.
For a breakdown of the ECLAC's growth forecasts, see: here
Reporting by Santiago newsroom; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama