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Country Insights

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Try Again
PERU - Report 28 Feb 2014
Executive Summary President Ollanta Humala quickly lost the popularity rally he enjoyed in the wake of the favorable Hague ruling on Peru’s maritime border with Chile, after the government mismanaged the PR aspect of a 100% salary hike for top government officials. Humala’s rating tumbled back to...

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The Performance of GDP in the Fourth Quarter of 2013
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 28 Feb 2014
The GDP growth of 0.7% in the last quarter of 2013 (Graph 1) came as a surprise: it was above the most optimistic projections. In contrast, GDP contracted in the third quarter by 0.5%. With this, growth in 2013 reached 2.3%. The main surprise was gross fixed capital formation, which instead of th...

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Housing Market: Bumpy Ride
CHINA - Report 28 Feb 2014
Executive Summary Exports and imports both grew faster, up 10.6% and 10% y/y respectively in January. Almost all increases came from commodity trade. We expect the relatively high growth rate in trade to persist, and even to speed up -- especially after May. CPI rose 2.5% y/y in January, fl...

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Fiscal Reforms for the Next Government …and the Canal Expansion Project is on Again…
PANAMA - Report 28 Feb 2014
ACP announced that it had just reached a “conceptual agreement” with GUPC, the main contractor for the Panama Canal expansion project. The key elements of this new accord released on February 28th (for which the final wording is still pending) include five main conditions. The first one (importan...

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Good and bad of the fiscal certainty agreement
MEXICO - In Brief 28 Feb 2014
Today,after a meeting of a special government Committee for a “Prosperous Mexico”, specialized in economic policy and formed by different government ministries, the Secretary of Finance, Luis Videgaray, announced a “Tax Certainty Agreement”. This agreement pursues several goals. Amongst them, the...

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Reform program – any luck this time?
UKRAINE - In Brief 27 Feb 2014
Parliament today approved new Cabinet with Arseniy Yatseniuk as a prime-minister. Also parliament accepted reform program of the new Cabinet. In fact the document (reform program) appeared to be a summary of key actions the authorities plan to do in the nearest future without much details. Among ...

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Budgeting Under Stress
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 27 Feb 2014
Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan presented yesterday a balanced budget despite a lack of space for fiscal maneuvers. His eye was clearly on averting another credit rating downgrade. The Minister spoke the right language in (1) containing expenditure and (2) keeping all welfare expenditure incre...

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Escalation in Crimea
UKRAINE - In Brief 27 Feb 2014
Some unidentified armed people captured the government and parliament building in Crimea today in the morning. There are also reports that Russian armed forces moved out of their military bases in Crimea (few dozens of Infantry Fighting Machines are reported standing near Simferopol the capital o...

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Budgeting Under Stress
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 27 Feb 2014
Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan presented yesterday a balanced budget despite a lack of space for fiscal manoeuvres. His eye was clearly on averting another credit rating downgrade. The Minister spoke the right language in (1) containing expenditure and (2) keeping all welfare expenditure incr...

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The Central bank will not intervene at the forex, Head of the Bank said
UKRAINE - In Brief 26 Feb 2014
The Central bank will not use its gross foreign reserves to balance forex market, the Head of Central Bank Stepan Kubiv said today. It is not clear whether this statement means the Bank will move to real free float. However, it means that new head of the Bank will not resist devaluation over the ...

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Yatsenyuk Nomination for Prime-Minister looks Distrubing
UKRAINE - In Brief 26 Feb 2014
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Batkivshchyna party, was nominated for the prime-minister post today at Maidan. A lot of new names were presented for his Cabinet. Tomorrow the parliament will be voting for this decision. In our opinion, Arseniy Yatsenyuk is not the best choice for this post. He has never been...

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Economic growth in Mexico in 2014 is estimated at 3.0%
MEXICO - Report 25 Feb 2014
Executive Summary Last week Mexican authorities reported that fourth quarter 2013 GDP grew 0.7% year over year, the second weakest quarterly performance last year. As a result, the economy grew 1.1% in full year 2013, just as we at GEA predicted in December and the weakest reading of GDP since th...

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Q4 2013 GDP Recovery Fails to Lift Annual Outcome
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 25 Feb 2014
Inflation adjusted (real) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by a quarterly, seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 3.8% in the last quarter of 2013. The outcome added 3.1 percentage points to the preceding quarter’s muted rate (see Graph 1). Graph 1 Quarterly Inflation-adjusted GDP growth ra...

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Political Reform before Holy Week, Energy Reform in Late April
MEXICO - Report 25 Feb 2014
Executive Summary There is some lingering uncertainty over the order in which Congress intends to handle secondary legislation related to the constitutional amendments passed last year. Those dealing with political and electoral law will be addressed first, with energy and telecommunications refo...

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Optimism and Challenges
UKRAINE - Report 25 Feb 2014
Executive Summary After two months of peaceful protests and a month of deadly attacks that left 100 protestors dead, the Yanukovych dictatorship has collapsed. The day after agreeing to limit his authority, the president fled Kyiv.But the story is far from over. Viktor Yanukovych is refusing to r...