Country Insights

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Essential CIS Politics: Russia emerges from the difficulties of the past month
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 21 Sep 2018
Russia has emerged from the difficulties of the past month. Regional conflicts bubble on, but no major escalation is expected. CIS republics continue to hedge with new patrons – notably China.

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President Ramaphosa unveils South Africa’s economic stimulus package
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 21 Sep 2018
With SA’s economy in the doldrums, declining for a while, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised the country a stimulus package that would help revive the ailing economy – South Africa is currently in a technical recession as a result of two consecutive quarters of ...

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South African Reserve Bank keeps rates unchanged despite mounting pressures
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 20 Sep 2018
​The SA Reserve Bank has announced that it is keeping the benchmark interest rate, the repo, unchanged at 6.5% - so the prime interest rate stays put at 10%. The Bank has changed the repo rate only once so far in the current year, when it cut the rate by 25 basi...

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MTEP/NEP: First impressions...
TURKEY - Report 20 Sep 2018
The much-anticipated Medium-Term Economic Program (MTEP) – or the New Economic Program (NEP) by its new name -- was announced this morning by the Treasury and Finance Minister Mr. Berat Albayrak in a short presentation. (The document is available only in Turkish...

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The IMF requests budget 2019 approval, media report
UKRAINE - In Brief 20 Sep 2018
Local news agency reported that the IMF requested to approve budget 2019 to complete the fourth review under the EFF program ($1.9 billion wire expected). The IMF mission left Kyiv yesterday, on September 19. Neither the IMF, nor the Cabinet commented on results...

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The hawks are out
CHILE - Report 19 Sep 2018
The Central Bank’s September Monetary Policy Report (IPOM) was surprisingly hawkish. It stated that the upward cycle would begin “in coming months,” implying in either mid-October or early December. The Bank’s base scenario is that the monetary policy interest r...

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Yes, but what the hell did the MNB do yesterday?
HUNGARY - In Brief 19 Sep 2018
Analyst views on what exactly the MNB did yesterday seem to differ significantly, depending on who one is talking to. This is not necessarily the fault of respondents, but much more the problem of the significantly overburdened and not entirely coherent system o...

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Ibope reinforces trend of a Bolsonaro vs. Haddad runoff
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 19 Sep 2018
The Ibope poll released yesterday, September 18, shows that Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) is firmly in the lead in the presidential race and that Fernando Haddad has taken second place. As expected, the PT candidate has attracted support by exploiting his ties to former ...

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GDP sped up to 3.8% y/y in 2Q 2018, updated statistics
UKRAINE - In Brief 19 Sep 2018
State statistics office reported a 3.8% y/y GDP increase in 2Q 2018. Provisional estimate was +3.6% y/y. Thus in 1H 2018 GDP sped up to 3.5% y/y vs. 2.7% y/y in 1H 2017. In 2Q 2018 private consumption and investments in fixed assets slowed but remained strong. I...

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Draft Budget 2019: No Gas Prices Increase Included
UKRAINE - In Brief 18 Sep 2018
Yesterday, on September 17 details of draft budget 2019 have been released. Spending plan was suggested unusually modest as for the election year: spending increased only 10.4% y/y. However, for some reason housing subsidies have been cut down to UAH 55.1 billio...

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Following the right path, albeit too slowly
ECUADOR - Report 18 Sep 2018
Ecuador is one of the countries facing a humanitarian crisis of large proportions brought on by the massive exodus of millions of Venezuelans escaping from heart-breaking living conditions. Last week, President Moreno, represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs ...

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China’s highly distorted private equity funding
CHINA FINANCIAL - Report 18 Sep 2018
Special points to highlight in this issue: • Economists usually try to evaluate a country’s debt position according to various debt ratios, but what often matters even more is how institutional distortions affect debt dynamics. China’s financial system is lock...

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With ample support Laurentino Cortizo won the primaries of the PRD Party
PANAMA - In Brief 17 Sep 2018
Laurentino Cortizo (Nito) was elected presidential candidate of the PRD for the May 2019 elections in Sunday’s primaries. Several key issues are relevant for the future: (1) The participation of the party members was higher than expectations (60.5% of the affili...

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Politics: Initial signs of strain in the AMLO coalition
MEXICO - Report 17 Sep 2018 1 response
We are still roughly two and a half months away from President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador's taking office and yet the last two weeks have provided all-too-early signs of the predictable fragility of a coalition that includes people drawn from even the far...

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Economics: Addressing more than minimum wages
MEXICO - Report 17 Sep 2018
Perhaps the labor-related issue that then-presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador spoke about the most on the campaign trail was his promise to significantly raise federally mandated minimum wage levels. He had no monopoly on the idea as even his cent...