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Country Insights

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Continuing Signs of Sluggishness
MEXICO - Report 15 Apr 2014
Executive Summary During the first months of 2014 a debate emerged over just how long it may take the economy to shake off the slowdown into which it has become increasingly mired since last year. So far the doubt has centered on just how much increased government spending and growth in exports m...

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Labor Market: Data from the Continuous PNAD
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 14 Apr 2014
Brazil no longer has an abundance of labor as it did in the past. But the data from the labor market are partial and need to be improved. To provide a better picture of the job market, the IBGE recently launched the “Continuous PNAD” (PNAD Contínua, with PNAD standing for National Household Surve...

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Economy Ticking; Politics, Not So Much
COLOMBIA - Report 14 Apr 2014
Executive SummaryGDP sped up in 2013, to 4.3% from 4% in 2012. Construction, lifted by a government-supported low-income housing program, expanded 9.8%. Agriculture also did well, up 5.2%. Despite mining’s notorious slowdown, it’s still one of the fastest-growing sectors, up 4.9% last year, mainl...

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Political Insights: Week of April 14
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 14 Apr 2014
The presidential race begins a new chapter with the launch of the candidacies of Eduardo Campos (PSB) for President and Marina Silva for Vice President. Two presidential polls may be released this week: Vox Populi and another Ibope poll. The battle for the installation of the Petrobras CPI contin...

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News polls for president in Brazil
BRAZIL POLITICS - In Brief 13 Apr 2014
These week, two news polls for President in Brazil will be released. From Tuesday, Vox Populi survey conducted between April 6 and 8, may be disclosed. From Thursday, a Ibope survey (between 10-17 April) may be released also. We expect that these two new polls will confirm Dilma's fall in the two...

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Consumers' economic health to go under the microscope
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 11 Apr 2014
Pointers from key sections of the production side of the South African economy (i.e. manufacturing and mining) have indicated a weakening momentum in activity or worse (see our Special Report 11 April 2014). Next week, Statistics South Africa will publish retail sales figures for February 2014 on...

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After the Election: Political Stability, Healthy Macro Balances & Low Growth
HUNGARY - Forecast 11 Apr 2014
Executive Summary In our first Quarterly Report on Hungary, we deal with the results and the likely impact of the election held last Sunday, and a macro forecast running through end-2016. On the latter, we provide readers with an explanation of the direction, the movers and the dynamics of expect...

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Symptoms of A Frail Recovery
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 11 Apr 2014
The performance of mining and manufacturing disappointed in February 2014. Looking ahead, risks to these sectors are tilted to the downside, with adverse consequences for an economic recovery in 2014. Contraction in total mining production – by almost 5% y/y in February 2014 (see Graph 1) – may s...

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Challenging Goliath
PHILIPPINES - Report 11 Apr 2014
Executive Summary Philippine-China relations sank to a new low last week following the Philippines’ filing of a memorial or pleading before a United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea arbitral tribunal. The memorial was in connection with the arbitration case it initiated against China earl...

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Parliament approves procurements law - another step to the IMF funds
UKRAINE - In Brief 11 Apr 2014
Yesterday parliament finally approved updated law on public procurements. The legislation significantly tightens rules for spending public funds, introduces more transparency not only for budget but also for state enterprises. Effectively, the law closes all major loopholes for budget funds squee...

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Appreciating Exchange Rate And Inflation: What Can Be Expected?
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 10 Apr 2014
Executive SummaryThe Central Bank has continued selling foreign exchange swaps even since the real started appreciating. What is the aim of this action? One possibility is that, lacking the freedom to raise the interest rate sufficiently because the government does not want any further decelerati...

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Confidence Matters
SOUTH AFRICA - Forecast 09 Apr 2014
Executive Summary One quarter into 2014, it appears that a blend of domestic and global ingredients will decide the course of South Africa’s economic performance going forward. Confidence at home is by and large low. On the whole, we expect a lackluster economic performance as consumption spendin...

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There Goes Plan B
PERU - Report 08 Apr 2014
Executive Summary First lady Nadine Heredia has rapidly metamorphosed from the government’s main political asset into its biggest liability. Her involvement in the abrupt dismissal of Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva was so obvious, and Villanueva’s sacking so crude, that Heredia drew heavy critic...

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Political Insights: Week of April 8
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 08 Apr 2014
The allegations involving Petrobras continue to reverberate in Congress. The decision by Senate President Renan Calheiros to expand the scope of the investigation involving the governments of the PSDB and PSB will be analyzed by the Constitution and Justice Committee and the floor. Regarding the ...

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Education: An Uphill Battle
MEXICO - Report 08 Apr 2014
Executive Summary The ratification early last year of a constitutional reform on education was the Pact for Mexico’s first major success, but implementing it is proving to be a daunting task. With the support of all three major political parties, the reform cleared the way for the State to reclai...