Country Analysts

Iraj Abedian
Former Member, President’s Panel of Economic Advisors

In The News


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Recent Country Insights

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The South African Reserve Bank starts 2019 on a more dovish note
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 17 Jan 2019
Today the South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee completed its first of six meetings to be held in 2019 to decide the country’s interest rate path. In line with market expectations, the MPC decided to leave the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 6.75%, hence the prime rate also ...

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The ANC 2019 election manifesto – new strategies or just more of the old promises?
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 16 Jan 2019
The African National Congress (ANC), the governing party in South Africa since the beginning of democracy in 1994, has delivered its election manifesto for the upcoming country’s general elections to be held during May of this year. By all accounts, these are likely to be the toughest elections t...

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South Africa’s national minimum wage to come into effect in 2019
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 11 Dec 2018
South Africa’s National Minimum Wage Act, 2018 was gazetted on November 27, 2018 following a long period of consultation with social partners. The Act states its purpose as the advancement of economic development and social justice by:Improving the wages of the lowest paid workers;Protecting work...

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South Africa’s current account deteriorates in the third quarter
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 07 Dec 2018
Following the encouraging GDP numbers earlier this week, indicating South Africa exited the technical recession, the other significant economic metric to come out this week unfortunately shows the country’s current account deteriorated, even if just marginally. The recently released data by the R...

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SA political economy update Q4-2018
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 05 Dec 2018
The past few weeks have registered important developments for the SA political economy landscape. We like to review the key issues:Constitutional Change for Land Expropriation without Compensation (EWC): The much debated, feared, and anticipated Parliamentary support for the change of the constit...

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The South African economy exits the technical recession in Q3
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 04 Dec 2018
Today’s all-important GDP results indicate that the SA economy has pulled out of the recession, as we had anticipated. Stats SA reports that quarter-on-quarter, seasonally adjusted and annualized GDP increased by 2.2% in the third quarter of 2018, meaning, indeed, the economy is out of the techni...

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The Reserve Bank hikes the rate to contain inflationary expectations.
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 23 Nov 2018
In its last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting for 2018, the South African Reserve Bank decided to increase the repurchase (repo) rate by 25 basis points from 6.5% to 6.75%, effective from November 23, 2018. This moves the bank lending (prime) rate to 10.25% from 10%. The SARB last made a ch...

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South African state-owned enterprises: A drag on fiscal position and a threat to financial stability
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 09 Nov 2018
For sustainable economic growth, development and employment creation, nations need a financial system that is “resilient to systemic shocks, facilitates efficient financial intermediation, and mitigates the macroeconomic costs of disruptions in such a way that confidence in the system is maintain...

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President Ramaphosa celebrates Investment Summit positive outcomes
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 28 Oct 2018
Investment and economic growth are interconnected, with higher investment proven to lead to higher growth. The inverse is also true, countries that have low investment levels are slow to grow, and even stagnate, leading to poor quality of life in general. The South African economy is no different...