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Country Insights

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A tale of two development plans
MEXICO - Report 13 May 2019
Early in its life, each presidency is required to produce a National Development Plan (NDP) to implement during its six years in office. But the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador did something quite different: his government just sent Congress two NDPs, one authored by his finan...

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Politics: No clarity from parallel NDPs
MEXICO - Report 13 May 2019
Since he won election, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has repeatedly, albeit in piecemeal fashion and in more ideological than programmatic terms, outlined the contents of the new political and economic direction he has set for the country as well as his key objectives: a Mexico without co...

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The frustrating economic activity and the Central Bank’s reaction function
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 13 May 2019
Economic activity continues to disappoint, and based on the information available so far, it is perfectly possible that GDP contracted in the first quarter. This has prompted a wave of downward revisions in the growth projections for 2019, to the neighborhood of 1%. Another consequence is the ine...

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Business cycle conditions, Jan-Mar 2019
INDIA - Report 13 May 2019
The best measure of business cycle conditions in India is the coincident indicator, which is a linear combination of well-measured underlying indicators. The coincident indicator deteriorated slightly in Jan-Mar 2019, to +0.8% above trend. The leading indicator gives us a sense of how the coin...

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Trade war escalation and shekel appreciation could delay tightening
ISRAEL - Report 13 May 2019
Recent data has been mixed, but mostly was positive, with consumer confidence moving higher. Data to be released this week: We expect inflation to accelerate to 1.5% y/y (from 1.4%) in April, and GDP growth to be robust in Q1 2019 (nearly 5% saar). Although accelerating inflation and strong growt...

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South African 2019 Elections: Vote Counting Completed, 23000 Voting Stations Tallied and The Nation Can Now Breath- but only just!
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 11 May 2019
A few minutes ago, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) confirmed that the 2019 elections votes are 100% counted, and tallied. The official ceremony later today at 18h00 will be held at the IEC headquarters where the results will be officially confirmed, certified and announced. In the mean...

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Exchange freedom in a minefield
VENEZUELA - In Brief 10 May 2019
As of 7 May, individuals and private companies can buy and sell foreign currency through local commercial banks and exchange houses with no constraints on prices or amounts. Resolution N° 2019-05-01 of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) dated 2 May 2019 sets out the rules. The new market largely...

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Gegen Die Wand
TURKEY - Forecast 10 May 2019 1 response
Growth may have sequentially moved to moderately positive territory in Q1, after sharp contractions in the previous two quarters, thanks to substantial fiscal spending and a surge in state bank lending. But this relative pick-up is entirely transient, we think, as the reality on the ground, funda...

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Defaults in China - how the state handles financial failure
CHINA ADVISORY - Report 10 May 2019
As liquidity tightens in China there is a likelihood of increasing pressure on corporates that could lead to a rise in defaults. We look at a number of measures to understand what those pressures currently are and what methods Beijing is using to resolve them. Our conclusion is that China increas...

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South African 2019 Elections Vote Counting Continues: Gains , Pains and the Rule of Numbers
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 10 May 2019
With over 70% of South Africa's 23000 voting stations counted and tallied, gradually a picture is emerging, much in line with expectations, and with some variations. At the national level, the ANC is leading with a 57% voter support, DA at around 22% and the EFF at circa 10%. Curiously, all the p...

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Internal growth is strengthening
CHINA - Forecast 09 May 2019
The Chinese economy began showing a recovery pattern in Q1. GDP rose 6.4% y/y, though it was flat on Q4 2018. Industrial output was up 6.5% y/y, and up 0.8 pps from Q4. In March in particular, GDP rose 8.5% y/y, and up 1.4 pps from Q4 -- a powerful rebound, and its fastest growth rate since Augus...

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Inflation rose further, core inflation down on a base effect in April
HUNGARY - In Brief 09 May 2019
Well, the analyst consensus proved to be a bit too pessimistic, whereas we were a bit too optimistic about April's CPI-inflation data, as it turned out this morning. However, the crucial point is that essentially everyone was right to expect rising inflation for the month.Specifically, the headli...

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Monetary Board cuts policy rates
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 09 May 2019
With 1Q19 GDP falling below the low end of government’s growth target, the Monetary Board decided today to cut its set of policy rates by 25bp, setting the overnight reverse repurchase rate at 4.5%. The decision is based on a more benign inflation outlook, with the BSP forecasting inflation to av...

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5.6% growth not unexpected (by us)
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 09 May 2019
As we had feared, GDP growth fell to 5.6% in 1Q19, below even the low end of government’s downscaled 6-7% target for the year and much lower than the 6.1% median analyst forecast. Officials were quick to point the finger at the delayed passage of government’s 2019 budget, which capped the growth ...

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South Africa 2019 Elections: Voting Done yesterday, Today is all about Counting and the Game of Numbers
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 09 May 2019
South Africa's 6th democratic national elections went relatively smoothly yesterday. Months and months of tense, vigorous and emotional electioneering ended yesterday with 24.75 million eligible voters registered, 9.2 million eligible voters who did not register, 48 political parties battled for ...