Country Insights

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The STF will decide Lula's future and other weekly topics
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 12 Apr 2021
On Wednesday, the Federal Supreme Court will hear appeals against the decision by Minister Edson Fachin that annulled the convictions of former President Lula. By Thursday, the government must send Congress the PLDO 2021. In the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco will read the request for the creation of th...

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The Russian budget posted a surplus in 1Q21
RUSSIA ECONOMICS - In Brief 12 Apr 2021
The Finance Ministry reported that revenue collection soared in March so that in 1Q21 the government was able to collect 28.2% of total revenues targeted for 2021 as a whole. In 1Q21 the government collected 27.0% of annually planned oil-and-gas revenues and 28.8% of the non-oil-and-gas revenues....

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Economics: External sector recovery with persistent internal market weakness
MEXICO - Report 12 Apr 2021
In recent weeks institutions and analysts have been upwardly revising their Mexico GDP projections for 2021, with most now roughly or exactly in line with the 4.5% growth estimate that we have maintained since January. These upward revisions are explained by the extent to which the US economy is ...

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2021–2022 Outlook: Pandemic Pains
VENEZUELA - Forecast 12 Apr 2021
Our 2021–2022 outlook depends heavily on the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic. Things are bleak right now: Venezuela is suffering its worst wave of infections so far, its hospital system has collapsed, the regime is dragging its feet, and there’s no vaccination plan. One consequence of the p...

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Optimism About Exports
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 12 Apr 2021
This year, Brazilian exports should attain their best result since 1997, which marks the start of the historical series. There are three reasons for optimism: (i) the better perspectives for global growth, as reported in the “World Economic Outlook” published this month; (ii) the rising prices of...

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Turkey Covid Watch - April 12, 2021
TURKEY - Report 12 Apr 2021
Covid cases continue to rise rapidly, while the pace of vaccination has slowed. The tourism industry is now faced with the twin challenges of rising case numbers and expiration of the government-sponsored short-term pay program. After tomorrow’s cabinet meeting, President Erdogan is expected to a...

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​Lockdown watch (3)
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 12 Apr 2021
As expected, President Duterte yesterday put Metro Manila and four surrounding provinces (“NCR+”) under modified enhanced community quarantine (mECQ), a looser form of lockdown compared with the ECQ in place over the past two weeks. In general, mECQ rules allow movement of workers although on-sit...

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Signs of FX intervention tapering support shekel appreciation
ISRAEL - Report 12 Apr 2021
* Pressure for shekel appreciation is mounting as the economy recovers rapidly (hi-tech services and IPOs are surging) and the BoI reduces FX intervention. * Business sector confidence improved sharply in March, with orders increasing in industry and services. * We expect March CPI to re...

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Kazkhstan banning foreigners from owning farm land
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 12 Apr 2021
On April 7 the Kazakh Parliament's lower chamber voted to forbid foreigners from buying or even renting agricultural land. The bill has to go to the upper chamber but it is almost certain to be approved. A 5 year ban was imposed in 2016 but that is due to expire. Some companies rented land before...

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Belarus media freedom reduced almost to nil
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 12 Apr 2021
On April 9 legislators passed a law gravely limiting civil rights, the transmission of information. The expression of extremism was already criminal but the definition has been broadened to be anything that undermines the constitution or public safety. Insulting officials is now a crime as is dis...

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Encouraging second round results
ECUADOR - In Brief 11 Apr 2021
When 93.46% of votes have been counted --from which just 4% seem to have problems, Guillermo Lasso leads the election with 52.72% of votes while Andres Arauz has 47.28%. Lasso wins in all Andean and Amazon Provinces (except Sucumbios), while Arauz dominates in the coastal region (except Galapagos...

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Signs of FX intervention tapering supports shekel appreciation
ISRAEL - In Brief 11 Apr 2021
Economic recovery supports less monetary accommodation In March, the BoI reduced FX purchases to 2bn USD from 4.9bn in February, allowing shekel appreciation against the basket of 1%. So far in April, the shekel has appreciated by an additional 1%. Mass vaccination and opening up of the economy s...

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Lost in space
TURKEY - Report 11 Apr 2021
As the tensions in Ukraine escalate, Turkey finds herself in a tenuous position between Ukraine, Russia and the US. Starting with the latter, the Halkbank trial and 24th of April Armenian genocide claims will receive top billing in the coming two weeks. In terms of Russia, Putin’s suspicions of A...

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Consumer inflation breaks 8% ceiling, further prime rate increase looks inevitable
UKRAINE - In Brief 10 Apr 2021
Our CPI estimate for 2021 was one of the most pessimistic among forecasting agencies. Still the reality appeared to be even more relentless. In March CPI sped up to 1.7% m/m (we projected 1.2% m/m) and touched 8.5% year-on-year. For 3m 2021 consumer inflation reached +4.1% ytd. Soaring food price...

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​GULF WEEKLY: Iran talks begin, IMF forecasts brighten, but Covid wave worsens
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 09 Apr 2021
A skimmable summary overlaid with our analysis and links. Headlines: * The first week of US-Iran indirect nuclear talks in Vienna seemed to make progress. * Coronavirus cases rose sharply in most Gulf states, and Qatar entered a new lockdown. * The IMF’s 2021 forecast increased GCC growth to...