Latin America and the Caribbean's economies will expand by an average of 3.2 percent in 2014, according to a report released Wednesday by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The Santiago-based ECLAC presented its annual report "Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean 2013" at a press conference. According to the report, the economic growth projection for 2013 has been lowered from 3 percent to 2.6 percent due to less external demand, greater international financial volatility and falling consumption. Slower growth in the regional powerhouses -- Brazil and Mexico -- has also weighed on the region, leading to their failure to reach the expected growth of 2.4 percent and 1.3 percent respectively. But a more favorable external environment is expected to help boost demand for the region's exports. Private consumption will also continue to grow, though slower than in previous periods. "The world economic situation in 2014 provides both opportunities and threats to Latin America and the Caribbean," said ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Barcena.