Recently, the Latin American economy has been very prosperous, but United Nations experts on Latin America are expecting slower growth for the region’s economies for 2012 because of the recent downturn in global markets.

The U.N. Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean reported on Wednesday that the future growth of Latin American economies will be intricately tied to the economic performance of developed countries. A drop in the activities of developed countries would negatively affect Latin America’s regional exports and the decrease the prices of principal export products.

“There is a great possibility of a deep crisis in the Eurozone, which would significantly affect the global economy overall and would impact our region primarily through the real channel – exports, prices, foreign investment, remittances and tourism – and the financial channel, greater volatility, possible capital outflows and difficulties in accessing credit,” said Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, while presenting the report.

The group said that the region’s economies grew by 4.3 percent in 2011, and projected the region to slow in growth for the coming year to about 3.7 percent.

Growth has already slowed by 5.9 percent in 2010, according to the report, however it also states that most of the region showed “a positive performance thanks to a favorable external situation.” On the other hand, the group noted that an increase in volatility and uncertainty during the second half of the year significantly complicated the worldwide economic environment.

High level of reserves and low levels of public debt, excluding a few Caribbean countries are the region’s strengths, and those strengths should enable them to defend themselves from the economic downturn in the coming year, experts noted.

The report explained that the high reserves would let countries to finance a deficit in the current account, and the low debt would allow governments to implement countercyclical fiscal policies permitting an expansionary monetary policy which will keep the overall Latin market growing, but at a slower rate.