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Russian GDP growth down to 0.55 in Q1
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 20 May 2019
Figures released on May 17 show Russia's economic growth reveals only 0.5% yoy growth in the first quarter of 2019. This is worse than the Ministry of Economic Development's anticipated 0.8%. By contrast Bloomberg said a survey of economists had predicted 1.2% growth.This is a dramatic slowdown f...

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Essential CIS Politics: May 2019
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 20 May 2019
* A very mixed month for Russia with short-term good news on oil prices and other sectors of the economy. National projects and economic growth continue to move at a snail’s pace. * The situation in Venezuela and Libya is very uncertain for Russia with Russia gambling heavily on its favored l...

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Prime minister Groysman resigns
UKRAINE - In Brief 20 May 2019
Volodymyr Zelenskiy during his inauguration speech was very harsh and critical on the work of the Cabinet of Volodymyr Groysman. It did not take long for Groysman to make a decision. He has just announced his intention to resign. He will be acting Prime minister till new Cabinet is appointed. But...

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Rate stability expected today on global risks, soft inflation and strong shekel
ISRAEL - Report 20 May 2019
Highlights: GDP growth reached 5.2% saar in Q1 2019. * Excluding import taxes, GDP growth was 3.7%, following 3.0% in Q4 2018. * PC growth reached 7.6%, exports: 6.2% and investments: 10%. Inflation surprised on the downside in April (0.3%), slowing to 1.3% y/y (from 1.4% in March)...

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Zelenskiy announced parliament dismissal
UKRAINE - In Brief 20 May 2019
Volodymyr Zelenskiy during his innauguration speach announced itention to dismiss the parliament. He also mentioned that MPs will have two months to do good things for the country meaning that he expects new parliamentary elections in July.

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Cristina Fernández de Kirchner runs for vice-president
ARGENTINA - In Brief 20 May 2019
In a very professionally produced video, with a strong emotional language, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (CFK) confirmed this Saturday that she would run in August in the primary election for president with Alberto Fernandez, the former Chief of Cabinet during Nestor Kirchner’s mandate. The surp...

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​The re-election machinery is underway
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 19 May 2019
The re-election machinery is underway Although, as has been discussed in recent reports and briefs, a formal proposal to amend the Constitution allowing President Medina to opt for a third term has not been sent to Congress, the political machinery that promotes re-election is in full swing. Many...

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Geopolitical risks rise further
TURKEY - Report 19 May 2019
US-Iran tensions, the exploration controversy in waters surrounding the divided island Cyprus and new attacks on rebel positions in Syria’s Idlib Province compound Turkey’s political woes. We consider only Idlib a serious problem for national security and for AKP’s chances of taking Istanbul back...

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Public applauds crackdown on the political class
PERU - Report 17 May 2019
All four Peruvian ex-presidents since 2001, a Lima ex-mayor and several regional governors are being investigated in relation to contributions from Brazilian construction firms. Prosecutors have secured information from such firms under arrangements providing immunity to their officials in return...

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Poll results: Reelection is highly unpopular but Medina remains popular
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 17 May 2019
At the beginning of May, the results of the first two well-known political surveys were published: Mark Penn and Gallup-Hoy. The most outstanding are the following: 1) An amendment of the Constitution to allow President Medina to run for a third term is rejected by a solid majority (60% -70%). 2)...

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South Africa's conference call on May 29 - Post-election politics: "Last chance for the ANC?"
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 17 May 2019
Last chance for the ANC? How will the ANC’s reduced majority impact the reform process going forward? Is the new cabinet ideal for the revival of South Africa’s economy? Did Ramaphosa win the mandate he needs to propel the moral revival of the ANC and the country? Where to from here for the SA e...

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South Africa’s list of MPs causes some disgruntlement while the nation awaits the appointment of President Ramaphosa’s new cabinet
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 17 May 2019
Now that the general elections have come and gone, the focus in South Africa has shifted back to the African National Congress (ANC) and the integrity of its members, particularly those that will be representing the party in parliament. President Cyril Ramaphosa has based his two campaigns – the ...

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The depression after the recession
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 17 May 2019
The dating of economic cycles in Brazil is carried out by the Committee for Dating Economic Cycles (CODACE), which has pinned down the start and finish of all cycles since 1980. It is customary to measure the magnitude of recessions by the distance between the peak and valley in the phase of fall...

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To raise or not to raise the VAT?
ECUADOR - Report 16 May 2019
Against all odds, Alianza Pais captured the presidency of the National Assembly with 78 votes – 40 from Alianza Pais, 18 from CREO and the remaining from Integracion Nacional in exchange for two vice-presidencies and at least two commissions that are under negotiation as of this writing. Cesar...

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US-Iran tensions lead to good oil and currency news for Russia
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 16 May 2019
The United States accused Iran of trying to sink Saudi oil tankers on May 13. Warlike statements from Washington have led to a rise in oil prices and the RUB.The oil tankers were damaged in the Strait of Hormuz in between Iran and the UAE. The US believes that either the Iranians did it or Iran's...