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Country Insights

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The Central Bank and its Difficult Mission
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 03 Feb 2014
Emerging countries are being sharply penalized by the markets at the start of this year. The recovery of the advanced economies, especially the American, is reducing global liquidity, which is happening alongside signals of slower growth in China, accentuating the uncertainties. This cycle is the...

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Something for Everyone
PERU - Report 03 Feb 2014
Executive SummaryIn what seemed a Solomonic judgment, The Hague has solved the long-running maritime border dispute between Peru and Chile by awarding something to each. Chile was able to retain more or less intact the grounds it has been fishing for the past 50 years, while Peru has added 50,000...

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We Better Get Used To It…
TURKEY - Report 03 Feb 2014
January CPI inflation came in at 1.7%, broadly in line with expectations on the back of high food inflation -- much above seasonal averages -- and continued lira weakness. Twelve-month CPI rate now stands at 7.5%, marginally up from 7.4%.The weak lira effect is apparent from the jump in the core ...

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The Tide Is Turning
TURKEY - Report 02 Feb 2014
It is crunch time for AKP. After an unprecedented 11-year reign with few rivals of note, the party is facing severe challenges at home and abroad in the eve of do-or-die elections. Since Gezi Parki almost everything has gone wrong for AKP, which leads us to speculate that the tide may have turned...

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Central America: Costa Rica´s Central Bank reduced its inflation target range
CENTRAL AMERICA - In Brief 31 Jan 2014
The Central Bank of Costa Rica reduced its inflation target range for 2014-2015 to 4.0% ± 1 p.p. The new target, included in the Macroeconomic Program 2014-15 approved on January 29th, is consistent with the observed decline in the inflation rate during last year (3.68% y/y as of December). The B...

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Russian GDP grew 1.3% in 2013
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - In Brief 31 Jan 2014
Rosstat published today preliminary estimates of economic growth for 2013. GDP grew 1.3% compared to 3.4% in 2012 in line with our previous forecasts and slightly lower than last MED estimates (1.4%). Main sectors to support economic growth in 2013 were trade ( +3.9 %) and agriculture (+6.2%) . O...

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How Far Away Is Ruble Stabilization?
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - Report 31 Jan 2014
Executive Summary In the first three working weeks of January 2014, the Russian ruble plunged 7.9% against the USD and 6.7% against the EUR. The Central Bank’s bi-currency basket, which it uses as the operational benchmark for FX policy, hit 41 rubles – its highest level since early 2009, when th...

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Full Course Dinner
PANAMA - Report 30 Jan 2014
According to the electoral law, candidates for the general elections must be ratified according to each political party’s bylaws three months before the May 4 event. Therefore, almost all the candidates are already in place: the menu has options for all political tastes. Fusion cuisine prevails i...

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Better-than-expected GDP growth
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 30 Jan 2014
At 6.5%, 4Q13 GDP growth reached the top end of the government's revised forecast, confirming its assessment of Typhoon Haiyan's limited growth impact. Apart from the overall growth rate, the good news from the 4Q GDP release include stable, albeit slower, consumption growth (5.6%), double-digit ...

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Robust Growth
CENTRAL AMERICA - Report 30 Jan 2014
Executive SummaryEl Salvador and Costa Rica have crucial presidential elections this Sunday. Both races seem headed for a runoff, since none of the candidates seem poised to gather enough votes to win in the first round. In both countries, a leftist party is a major contender -- a new situation f...

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Key Leadership Choices Ahead
CENTRAL AMERICA - Report 30 Jan 2014
Executive SummaryEl Salvador and Costa Rica have crucial presidential elections this Sunday. Both races seem headed for a runoff, since none of the candidates seem poised to gather enough votes to win in the first round. In both countries, a leftist party is a major contender -- a new situation f...

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The SARB Raises the Repo Rate
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 29 Jan 2014
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) opted today to increase the benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 5.5% per year. On the face of it, it appears that, after a protracted period of inaction, the SARB preferred this time to join the monetary policy...

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The SARB Raises the Repo Rate
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 29 Jan 2014
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) opted today to increase the benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to 5.5 per cent a year. On the face of it, it appears that, after a protracted period of inaction, the SARB preferred this time to join the monetary ...

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Dominican Rep: against all odds, 2013 fiscal deficit on target
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 29 Jan 2014
The Ministry of Finance just released final figures on the fiscal deficit for 2013. It set the deficit at DOP 70.0 bn, slightly below the level authorized by the 2013 Budget Law. This is equivalent to 2.77% of GDP. The target was 2.8% of GDP. Total spending reached DOP 442.2 bn and revenues total...

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Financial Reform’s Scope and Limits
MEXICO - Report 29 Jan 2014
Executive Summary Last week’s inflation report showed that consumer prices rose 0.68% during the first half of January, the sharpest increase for that two-week period in four years. That result pushed the National Consumer Price Index’s 12- month rate of inflation to 4.63%, the highest level sinc...