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GDP growth climbs to 6.4% in 4Q19
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 23 Jan 2020
As expected, stronger public spending pushed GDP growth to 6.4% in 4Q19, up from a low of 5.5% in 2Q19 and a downwardly revised 6% growth rate in 3Q19. Both government consumption and public construction grew at double-digit rates, reflecting fierce efforts to catch up on spending held up in 1H19...

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Russian Macro: Strong surpluses to weaken, growth to strengthen
RUSSIA ECONOMICS - Report 22 Jan 2020
The federal budget posted a surplus of R1,967 trln or 1.8% of GDP, in line with expectations. Total revenues reached nearly R20.2 trln. Revenue collection was particularly strong in December as non-oil-and-gas revenues increased by around 29% y-o-y, while in 2019 as a whole they were up by 17.4%....

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Essential CIS Politics: January 2020
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 22 Jan 2020
• Major changes to the Russian government and constitution are afoot. • Russia is making progress on diversifying its energy export routes. • The Ukraine conflict is de-escalating but permanent peace is uncertain. • Turkmenistan is suffering unrest due to severe economic hardship. • Belarus a...

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Cabinet shakeup in Russia
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 21 Jan 2020
Russia's new PM Mikhail Mishustin has reshaped the cabinet dramatically on January 21. The key posts (foreign affairs, the interior, defense, energy, emergencies and finance) have all retained the same ministers as before. However, Anton Siluanov (Finance Minister) has had his additional office o...

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Russia get the new Government, changes in economic and social positions
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - In Brief 21 Jan 2020
Today President V. Putin and new PM M. Mishustin announced the composition of the new Government. It's the most significant reshuffle of the Government in the last eight years. Some of the ministers are gone, and there are new faces. At the same time we note that most new ministers are relatively...

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Russia to screen Chinese visitors for Coronavirus
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 21 Jan 2020
On January 21 Russia announced that it would be screening Chinese tourists and business executives for coronavirus. The disease broke out in Wuhan, China in January 2020. the screening will be conducted in airports. The Russian Health Regulator stated that it wished to prevent the virus from spre...

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Prospects positive after a robust 2019
UKRAINE - Forecast 21 Jan 2020
Despite concerns about doubled elections and the new president’s unusual background, 2019 appeared especially good in economic terms. A $4.9 billion inflow into hryvnia-denominated state bonds; a $2.9 billion payment from Gazprom mandated by the Stockholm arbitration; a 17% strengthening of the ...

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Is Congress still committed to structural reforms and other weekly topics
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 20 Jan 2020
On Monday, January 20, the new pricing table for roadway cargo goes into effect. On Tuesday, President Bolsonaro leads a cabinet team meeting. Minister of the Economy Paulo Guedes participates in the World Economic Forum, in Davos, where he will meet with business representatives. This week's ...

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Russia infrastructure projects under budget
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 20 Jan 2020
The Ministry of Finance announced on January 19 that 91% of money allocated to national projects was spent by the end of 2019. USD 2.4 billion allocated to be spent in 2019 was carried over into 2020. Putin announced these national projects in 2018 as part of his re-election campaign. The project...

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Water is critical for the Canal and the country: two new proposals
PANAMA - In Brief 20 Jan 2020
Water is a scarce resource: it is evident for most of the citizens (and authorities) of the world, but Panamanian governments for decades were adamant, in general, to adjust the tariffs to price in that scarcity in the relevant markets. Last week two state-owned institutions stepped forward to de...

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An example of how the MNB can use FX swaps to influence the EURHUF exchange rate
HUNGARY - In Brief 20 Jan 2020 1 response
This afternoon, the forint jumped to EURHUF 334.34 from 336.84 within 45 minutes, when the MNB announced that it did not accept any bids at today's FX swap tender, and so the stock of FX swaps is falling by HUF 38bn to HUF 2235bn, due to maturing contracts, on January 22. The MNB's initial offer ...

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President Putin suggests dismissing his prosecutor-general Yuri Chaika
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 20 Jan 2020
On January 20 Putin proposed Igor Krasnov to take over Chaika's post. Krasnov is currently Deputy Head of the Investigative Committee. The proposal is part of a more general shakeup of government personnel. The Federal Council is considering the president's proposal. It is all but certain that th...

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Economic Activity: Anything New?
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 20 Jan 2020
With the IBOVESPA climbing above 110 thousand points at the end of 2019, a new wave of optimism about faster growth emerged. This has now been boosted by the apparent success of a USA/China trade deal, which has improved the outlook for the international economy. However, the most recent data on ...

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Business cycle conditions in Oct-Nov-Dec 2019
INDIA - Report 20 Jan 2020 1 response
The first information about macroeconomic conditions in the Oct-Nov-Dec 2019 quarter is now available. The leading indicator has improved significantly, to a value of 2.64 per cent below the long-term trend. A key indicator that improved greatly was new projects, which may be a slight aberration ...

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The BoI prefers FX intervention to lower rates
ISRAEL - Report 20 Jan 2020
Inflation reached 0.6% in 2019, both headline and core. • Housing (rental) prices continue to be the main driver of inflation, up 2.1% y/y (the larger housing item, making up 25% of the basket). • Clearly the 8.3%-shekel appreciation against the basket was the main factor supporting low inflati...

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Politics: Burying another successful program
MEXICO - Report 20 Jan 2020
The abrupt cancellation of the Seguro Popular reminds one of the old maxim regarding the advisability of abstaining from overhauling things that appear to be rendering positive fruits. By trying to conjure it into a free, universal healthcare delivery system, the government has managed to leave a...

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Economics: Minimum wage hikes consequences
MEXICO - Report 20 Jan 2020 1 response
One of the first initiatives of the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador upon taking office was to announce a major hike in the federal minimum wage for 2019 (+16.2% in most of the country, and by 100% in the northern border region). Over the past 12 months that decision has ha...

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The BoI prefers FX intervention to lower rates
ISRAEL - In Brief 19 Jan 2020
Inflation reached 0.6% in 2019, both headline and core.Housing (rental) prices continue to be the main driver of inflation, up 2.1% y/y (the larger housing item, making up 25% of the basket).Clearly the 8.3%-shekel appreciation against the basket was the main factor supporting low inflation in 20...

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It's the "base effect", stupid!
TURKEY - Report 19 Jan 2020
This is an econ-only Weekly, as our politics author returned from a conference with a severe flu and is out of commission at the moment. We very much apologize for the inconvenience, but we shall, as usual, continue with updates during the week. Industrial production, in sequential terms, has ...

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Turbulence for Vodafone Idea next week
INDIA - In Brief 19 Jan 2020
Vodafone Idea is a large telecom company. For 2018-19, their consolidated revenue was Rs.0.42 trillion and their balance sheet size was Rs.2.48 trillion. Their profit after tax has been negative for the three latest years (2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19). In the latest year, the profit after tax wa...