Regionally, the most dynamic region in terms of GDP growth was again East Asia and the Pacific, with an average of 5.8 percent. This was fueled by China’s increased GDP growth (7.8 percent); all other countries in the region had slower GDP growth compared to their third quarter 2012 performance. Employment growth declined in most East Asian countries and even became negative in Thailand. Throughout the region, the unemployment rate barely budged, and despite the increase in real wage growth in many countries, a substantial drop in Indonesia’s real wage growth halved this indicator from 6.4 to 3.3 percent for the region.
Europe and Central Asia presented a mixed picture regarding GDP growth, showing an increase in countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Romania, and Turkey, while decreasing in Armenia, Belarus, Lithuania, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, and Ukraine. Compared with the third quarter of 2012, GDP growth for the region declined from 3.5 to 3.1 percent. Employment growth also declined, with a few exceptions, notably Moldova. The region’s unemployment rate improved slightly, falling from 6.2 to 6 percent between the third quarters of 2012 and 2013, and real wage growth dropped substantially, from 8.5 to 3.3 percent.
Latin America and the Caribbean also revealed a mixed picture. When compared with the third quarter of 2012, average GDP growth across the region during the third quarter of 2013 declined from 4.4 to 3.4 percent, which can largely be attributed to a slowdown of GDP growth in Mexico, Peru, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The regional average employment growth barely changed between the third quarter of 2012 and the third quarter of 2013, while the employment growth rate declined slightly from 2.4 to 2.3 percent and unemployment overall improved from 6.5 to 6.2 percent.
Finally, the The South African economy continued to deteriorate: GDP growth decreased from 2.2 in the third quarter of 2012 to 1.7 in the same quarter of 2013. Small improvements were observed in employment. Employment grew from 2.5 to 2.8 percent, while unemployment slightly declined from 25.5 to 24.7 percent. Still, South Africa had the highest unemployment rate of all countries in the data set and recently experienced an important contraction of real wages. Real wage growth plummeted from 3 percent in the third quarter of 2012 to -0.6 percent in the third quarter of 2013.
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