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Country Insights

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El Salvador: When it Comes to the Economy, We Disagree
CENTRAL AMERICA - Report 29 Jan 2016
Recent government estimates of economic activity are controversial in the business sector, which complains that government is painting an inappropriately optimistic view of the economy. Businesspeople question whether growth based on private consumption financed by remittances, and by the tempora...

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Is This Going to Work?
COLOMBIA - Report 29 Jan 2016
The official forecast for the central government deficit is 3.6% of GDP (around 30 trillion pesos) this year, up from 3% last year and 2.2% in 2014. But this year’s deficit might be closer to 4.2% of GDP, as keeping it at 3.6% depends on spending cuts. The budget was based on overly optimistic as...

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Projections stand in spite of turbulent economic and political environment
PANAMA - Report 29 Jan 2016
We summarize in this document the impact of some key events in order to assess the economic panorama for Panama this year. Some of them are of internal nature: The new banking regulations (adding to the likely increase in the cost of funds to local banks) that may increase the lending rate...

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Dominican Republic: Medina is ahead in voting preferences...but not as much as previously thought
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 28 Jan 2016
A new survey by Asisa Research, a well-known poll firm, found that if elections were to be held today, President Danilo Medina (PLD and allies) would get 54.8% of the votes while Luis Abinader (PRM and allies) would get 38.6%. Guillermo Moreno, nominated by Alianza Pais and allies, would get 3% o...

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The SARB Kicks off the Year by Raising the Repo Rate by 50 basis Points
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 28 Jan 2016
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) opted to increase the repurchase (repo) rate, the country’s benchmark interest rate, by 50 basis points during its first meeting of the year in 2016. This has brought the repo rate up from 6.25% to 6.75% per annum. The i...

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Expect CBR to stay on hold tomorrow
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - In Brief 28 Jan 2016
Rising oil prices gave support for RUB and some relief for authorities. Last week we wrote that in case of continued pressure on RUB due to plunging oil prices CBR may decide to increase rates on Friday’s meeting. This is not the case, at least for now. RUB reacted strongly to higher oil this wee...

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Starting 2016 With New Determination
INDONESIA - Report 28 Jan 2016
Executive Summary Walini is the name of an unproductive tea plantation outside Bandung, the provincial capital of West Java. At the time of this writing, President Jokowi broke ground for the development of the first high-speed train to connect Jakarta and Bandung. The 140 kilometer distance b...

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GDP in line with expectations
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 28 Jan 2016
GDP grew by 6.3% in 4Q15, bringing the full year average to 5.8%, a notch above our 5.7% forecast for 2015. We note the following demand-side developments: 1. Growth in household consumption accelerated to 6.4% as the peso’s depreciation made up for the slower dollar remittances (1.7% vs 5.4% ave...

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Economics: Factory Exports Weak Despite Peso
MEXICO - Report 27 Jan 2016
Mexico’s manufacturing exports turned in a mixed performance over the course of 2015, as automotive shipments continued to grow (although the pace of expansion has tended to slow), while the main components of the non automotive segment experienced contractions. Given the extent to which the p...

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The State of South Africa’s Public Finances before the 2016 Budget Speech
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 27 Jan 2016
Heading towards the 2016 budget speech to be delivered on February 24, the state of South Africa’s national government finances has come under scrutiny because of the myriad of challenges that are currently faced by the country including, but definitely not limited to, low economic growth. On Jan...

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Politics: The 2018 Contest Remains Wide Open
MEXICO - Report 27 Jan 2016
Elections this year in 13 states will necessarily act as a filter ahead of the 2018 presidential contest, which unofficially got off to an unusually early start that predates even last year’s midterms thanks to a combination of Peña administration setbacks, the unrelenting stumping of Andrés Manu...

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The New Finance Minister’s Task: Mission Impossible
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 26 Jan 2016
The new finance minister takes office with the simultaneous mission of pursuing the fiscal adjustment and stimulating the economy, pulling it from a long and deep recession. He is faced with a veritable mission impossible. Due to lack of conviction and political support, he’s unlikely to propose,...

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MNB has strengthened its easing bias
HUNGARY - In Brief 26 Jan 2016
In general, we are not the kind of people who prefer deriving the likely course of monetary policy from Monetary Council talk to looking at what the MNB is actually doing in its everyday regulation of the money market and, indirectly, the HUF exchange rate. But today, the Monetary Council, which ...

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A Promising Start
ARGENTINA - Forecast 26 Jan 2016
The newborn administration has taken the right steps in its first weeks in office with major announcements: first, the removal of FX controls; second, the elimination of export taxes in all agriculture and industrial exports, with the reduction from 35% to 30% in the case of soybean products; thi...

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Dominican Rep issued USD 1 bn in Sovereign Bonds
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 26 Jan 2016
On 22 January, the Dominican government issued and allocated in capital markets Sovereign Bonds for a total amount of USD 1 bn . The bonds have a term of 10 years and the rate settled was 6.875%. The bonds were previously approved by Congress and the financing is included in the Budget Law for 20...