Country Insights

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Current Government and Private Investment in the South African Economy
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 29 Apr 2016
​South Africa needs more investment spending than is currently taking place in order for the economy to grow at a rate that is necessary to pull millions of people out of poverty, generate employment opportunities and address the pressing challenge of high income inequality. Of more pressing curr...

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Expect CBR to stay on hold tomorrow, but minor cut is possible
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - In Brief 28 Apr 2016
With inflation going down (+7.3% y-o-y in March; +7.3% y-o-y in April based on weekly data) and oil strong oil rally there’s a growing pressure on CBR to cut rates. For instance, Minister for Economic Development called again for an immediate cut. But as we have stated earlier, monetary policy ha...

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IMF in Ecuador's Sight
ECUADOR - In Brief 28 Apr 2016
The earthquake of last April 16, has forced the government to seek help from the IMF. Minister of Finance Fausto Herrero confirmed he is working with multilateral to set a fast loan agreement to cover part of the losses from the natural disaster. He insisted, however, that the loan must come "wit...

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Wages fall behind inflation
VENEZUELA - Report 28 Apr 2016
​This year we see four minimum wage increases, driven by inflation and politics. Real wages will nevertheless plunge. The first hike this year came in March, when the minimum wage rose by 20 percent and the food bonus rose by 233 percent. We expect the next decree to be approved in coming days...

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Signs of Rebound
CHINA - Report 28 Apr 2016
GDP rose 6.7% y/y in Q1. Although that is still slower than in Q4 2015, improved main indicators for growth bolster our confidence in future growth. Industrial output rose 6.8% y/y in March, up 0.7 pps from the previous quarter. Fixed asset investment excluding agriculture rose 10.7% y/y in Q1, ...

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Terror, again
TURKEY - In Brief 28 Apr 2016
Turkey faced terror once again, this time in nation’s automotive capital Bursa, in front of the Historic Ulu Mosque. A woman believed to be affiliated with ISIS blew herself up, injuring 13 citizens. Eyewitness accounts have it that she stumbled in the last second, dropping a plastic bag, where s...

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New Cabinet Increases Gas Prices in Line with the IMF Demand
UKRAINE - In Brief 28 Apr 2016
Starting May 1st the Cabinet increases gas prices for households by more than 60%. This decision definitely will be welcomed by the IMF. This gas prices’ increase was scheduled for April but Arseniy Yatsenyuk canceled this decision before his resignation leaving some dirty work for his successor....

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Who is afraid of Rodrigo Duterte?
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 28 Apr 2016
More people now believe that the presidency is his to lose. Latest polls show the tough-talking mayor from the south pulling further away from the pack, scoring 9 to 12 points ahead of the second-ranked. By itself, the emergence of a frontrunner is a good thing as it removes temptations to cheat ...

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Santos’ New Cabinet
COLOMBIA - Report 27 Apr 2016
After a lot of speculation, and a long wait for a cabinet reshuffle, yesterday President Santos announced the new members of what he called the “Cabinet for Peace”. However it has already been dubbed as the cabinet for the plebiscite, as its main purpose will be to gather the votes for approval o...

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Economics: The Economic Toll of Budget Cuts
MEXICO - Report 27 Apr 2016
The reductions in public spending that have been concurrently announced by the Ministry of Finance have always been deepest on the level of investment and only marginal in the case of current spending. Those announced for 2016 were no exception, with much of the cuts taking the form of the postpo...

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Politics: President’s Timid Proposal on Cannabis
MEXICO - Report 27 Apr 2016
Last Wednesday, two days after his speech before the U.N. General Assembly Special Session on Drugs, President Enrique Peña Nieto announced he was sending Congress new legislation based on proposals made during five forums the federal government organized in recent months. There are numerous impl...

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El Salvador: Still Awaiting Economic Dynamism
CENTRAL AMERICA - Report 27 Apr 2016
El Salvador seems destined to keep living with low economic dynamism. Despite the opportunities generated by a positive international environment, GDP growth is likely to continue running at 2%-2.5% y/y. As anticipated after 10 months in 2015 with negative inflation rates, deflationary risks are ...

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The central bank’s gold reserves
VENEZUELA - Report 27 Apr 2016
A review of the 31 December 2015 balance sheet of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) and the Notes to the Second Semester 2015 Financial Statements leads us to conclude that the central bank’s gross reserves appropriately record the effect of the 2015 gold swaps but net reserves (reserve assets ...

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Impeachment Committee: The rapporteur will present his report on May 4
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 26 Apr 2016
The president of the Impeachment Committee in the Senate, Raimundo Lira (PMDB-PB), decided that the report to be written by the rapporteur, Antonio Anastasia (PSDB-MG), will be presented on May 4. The committee will hear the authors of the impeachment request against the president on April 28 (Mi...

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A forint-negative Tuesday, due to monetary and fiscal policy announcements
HUNGARY - In Brief 26 Apr 2016
The current excessive strength of the currency - the forint trying to break out of the EURHUF 310-315 range in the southbound direction quite often, while growth is spectacularly weakening - was hit by two pieces of official communication today. 1. The central bank reduced the base rate and the O...