Europe and Central Asia present a mixed picture with respect to GDP growth. While around half of the countries—Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, and Turkey—showed increases in GDP growth, growth in the other half weakened, with Armenia, Belarus, and Ukraine actually contracting. The employment growth rate remained low throughout the region at 1 percent. Compared to the second quarter of 2012, the unemployment rate improved slightly for the Europe and Central Asia region over the same period in 2013. Overall, real wage growth showed significant declines, dropping from 9.7 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to less than a third of that rate (2.9 percent) in the second quarter of 2013.
In the Latin America and Caribbean region, GDP growth declined in all countries except Brazil, leading the regional average to drop from 4.6 to 3.4 percent. Mexico was hit strongest: GDP growth dropped from 4.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to 0.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013. The region’s employment growth rate also fell substantially, from 3.3 to 1.4 percent. The regional unemployment rate decreased marginally from 6.7 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to 6.3 percent in the second quarter of 2013. Real wage growth accelerated in many countries in the region, except for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Mexico, and Peru. The average value, however, declined from 3.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to 1.6 percent in the second quarter of 2013, reflecting the drop registered by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, where real wages contracted in the second quarter of 2013.
Finally, the South African economy showed signs of further deterioration. GDP growth decreased from 2.9 in the second quarter of 2012 to 2.3 percent in the second quarter of 2013. During this period employment growth also fell from 2.5 to 2 percent, and the unemployment rate grew from 24.9 to 25.6 percent. The largest decrease in employment-related outcomes was registered by the real wage growth, which plummeted from 6 to 1.2 percent.
For the full text of the March 2014 report, click here (PDF).