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Growth weakens, though more structural reforms are underway
CHINA - Report 24 Sep 2021
Growth has weakened, especially in services. In August, industrial output grew 5.3% y/y, and was up 11.2% from August 2019, with an annualized growth rate of 5.4%, down 0.2 ppts from July, and down 1.2 ppts from Q2. The service production index has slowed since Q2, and grew only 4.8% y/y in Augus...

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The South African Reserve Bank keeps rates unchanged despite the stronger economy
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 24 Sep 2021
Continuing with its trend of not altering interest rates since it cut them by 25 basis points at its July 2020 meeting, the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) once again voted to leave the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.5%. With the repo rate at 3.5%, the ...

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​GULF WEEKLY: Omani mineral exports surge, Covid restrictions ease, Royals hang in shorts
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 24 Sep 2021
A skimmable summary overlaid with our analysis and links. Headlines: * MBS hosted a casual bro's gathering in Neom for Qatar’s Emir and MBZ’s brother. Ministers from Qatar and Turkey also participated in a meeting in Dubai in a further sign of the regional de-escalation trend. * There were fu...

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Dep. Maia’s report on the Administrative Reform proposal approved in the Special Committee, the STF should conclude the judgment on whether the Federal Government can charge taxes on tax refunds, and the House may vote on a fiscal incentives law
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 24 Sep 2021
The Administrative Reform proposal can now be put to a vote in the Plenary of the House, which should take place next week. There are currently 7 votes against the taxation of tax returns and 1 vote in favor. As a complementary law, the fiscal incentives law requires an absolute majority of votes...

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Poland forces illegal immigrants to return to Belarus
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 23 Sep 2021
On September 23 Polish NGOs said that the Polish government is forcing hundreds of illegal immigrants back into Belarus - allegedly where they came from. The Polish authorities are arresting the migrants and then deporting them. Most of them are from Iraq and Iran. They are mostly young men. The ...

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The clock is ticking
ECUADOR - In Brief 23 Sep 2021
Guillermo Lasso will personally present the labor and tax reforms together with other bills to the assembly on Friday, September 24, after socializing their main contents tonight. The government has decided to send these bills together as one economically urgent law. In this fashion, the Assembly...

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The CBRT capitulates sooner than expected
TURKEY - Report 23 Sep 2021 1 response
In a surprise move of sorts, the CBRT/MPC cut the policy rate (one-week repo) by 100 bps to 18% (simple) today (see chart). We are saying “of sorts”, because even though the “revealed” consensus was one of no rate-cut, everyone, including this author, was nervous that a premature rate cut could f...

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​Inflation remains elevated despite growing domestic manufacturing as the domestic demand expands faster amid election-related stimulus
RUSSIA ECONOMICS - In Brief 23 Sep 2021
The Russian industrial output continued to grow in August relatively fast y-o-y as in 8M21, and in August alone, it was up by 4.5% and 4.7% accordingly. As it happened every month in the past, Rosstat revised up previously published data for July and at the same time reported that seasonally adju...

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Dep. Arthur Maia submitted his report on the Administrative Reform proposal, the Special Committee on the court-ordered payments PEC was installed, and the Electoral Reform proposal was approved in the Senate
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 23 Sep 2021
Deputy Maia included all three branches of government in his report. Voting on the text may be concluded today in the Special Committee, and the text will then go to the House for further analysis in the coming days. Deputy Diego Andrade (PSD-MG) was elected president of the Special Committee on ...

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Quick update on the Mexico talks
VENEZUELA - In Brief 23 Sep 2021
Maduro: let’s talk about SDRs In response to a proposal put forth by the Maduro government, the agenda for the September 24–27 session of the Mexico talks will include the issue of access to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) recently assigned to Venezuela. By pro...

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​The state of Turkish opposition: Is a rebirth possible?
TURKEY - In Brief 22 Sep 2021
For decade or so, I and Turkey commentators viewed Turkey through the lens of Erdogan’s eye. This was rational, as he completely dominated the political scene, outmaneuvering the opposition and deciding the national agenda in every sense of the world. I claim the end of the Erdogan Era is drawing...

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Further thoughts on the new Bahamas government lack of a "honeymoon". Is any change to "Thunderball" note required?
JAMAICA AND THE BAHAMAS - In Brief 22 Sep 2021 1 response
It is useful to look further at whether the recent Moody's ratings downgrade signifies any material change in The Bahamas position since my "Thunderball" pre-election note.1) Was the downgrade due to the election result? - Not very likely. The rating meeting occurred the day before the election a...

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OFZ: Minfin becomes less aggressive on the primary market
RUSSIA ECONOMICS - In Brief 22 Sep 2021
This week the Finance Ministry offered the market a preliminary fixed amount of OFZ (R15 bln), the first time since the middle of July. During the previous auctions, the supply was not limited and the borrower made the decision regarding the size of the placement after collecting the orders. Toda...

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Russia’s political/pandemic update: United Russia wins constitutional majority ahead of 2024 presidential election
RUSSIA ECONOMICS - Report 22 Sep 2021
As time goes by, Russia is still among the least vaccinated countries in the world, and the vaccination process in the country remained slow in August and September – only 32.3% of Russians had gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, and 28.2% were fully vaccinated as of September 22. The daily ...

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The need for further monetary tightening has become more evident lately
HUNGARY - Report 22 Sep 2021
The 4th wave of Covid is now definitely underway, as expected. Despite similarities to last September’s developments, it has become more difficult to measure the true size and dynamics of the epidemic, as widespread vaccination made the identification of infected people more difficult than it use...

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The Special Committee on the court-ordered payments PEC was created in the House yesterday, the Administrative Reform Committee should meet today, and the Economic Affairs Committee of the Senate approved the BR do Mar bill
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 22 Sep 2021
The goal is for the Special Committee to vote on the court-ordered payments PEC in about 10 days. Rodrigo Pacheco has said that the government is looking into paying R$ 40 billion up front and the remaining R$ 50 billion via some other payment alternative. The rapporteur of the Administrative Ref...

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​The circus is in town
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 22 Sep 2021
The 2022 presidential election is shaping up to be as we expected in our August Forecast report[1], i.e., a multi-contested fight.What we know at this time:Announced candidacy for the presidency: Senator Panfilo Lacson (age, 73), Senator Manuel Pacquiao (42) and Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso (4...

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As Washington chides, economic recovery persists
UKRAINE - Report 21 Sep 2021
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s visit to the United States was the most important event of recent weeks. Official Kyiv has been lobbying for so long to get face-to-face time with the White House that the very fact of the event was seen as a major success. The Ukrainian delegation reported many im...

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​A timid and general sketch of the content of the tax reform proposal
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 21 Sep 2021
The Dominican government delivered at the last meeting of the Economic and Social Council on September 15, the document Dialogue of Reforms 2021: Introductory Document for Discussion, in which it roughly outlines the content of the 12 proposed reforms for discussion with the representatives of po...

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Ukraine prolongs coronavirus state of emergency
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 21 Sep 2021
On September 20 Kyiv said the state of emergency will last until December 31, 2021, at least. It is classified as a ''yellow epidemic''. This means there are restrictions on how many people can gather in public and it means mask mandates and social distancing. The yellow restrictions are not appl...