Country Insights

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The 2018 results are in
PANAMA - In Brief 01 Mar 2019
Economic ActivityAccording to the figures published today by the Comptroller General, real GDP grew 3.7% during 2018. Our estimate was 3.8% for the year. The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and some international organizations estimated growth at 4.2%. This result confirms the slowdown that...

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A president under pressure
PERU - Report 01 Mar 2019
The government has started to feel the brunt of increased demands for action in several public policy areas, intensified by an abnormal El Niño-driven rainy season that has demanded the special attention of most of the Cabinet. The idea that President Martin Vizcarra has made the fight against co...

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An extremely slow recovery
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 01 Mar 2019
​The Brazilian economy is still experiencing an extremely slow cyclical recovery. This is not due to the absence of monetary stimulus: after all, the neutral real interest rate perceived by the market is in the ballpark of 4%, above the one-year ex ante real rate, which is the figure that is rele...

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Fiscal moves require some clarity
COLOMBIA - Report 01 Mar 2019 1 response
The three themes dominating politics are President Iván Duque’s recovered popularity, Colombia’s role in the Venezuelan debacle and the future of the FARC-related Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP). Duque’s approval ratings have benefited from his recent moves pleasing the uribista right, namel...

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We expect solid growth for 2019: Copper exports and private investment will be the engines
PANAMA - Forecast 01 Mar 2019
Our GDP growth rate estimate for 2018 (3.8%) was lower than the government´s and that of several international organizations (above 5% on average). The official figures for the complete year will be published during the first week of March, in addition to the balance of payments results. The ...

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​Indonesia: Arguing the accuracy of the national account statistics
INDONESIA - Report 28 Feb 2019
The Indonesian Central Board of Statistics released in early February the national accounts data for the Q4 2018 performance of the economy. As predicted in our earlier report, in Q4 2018 the economy was reported to have grown at the rate of 5.18%, which led to overall growth of 5.17% for the ent...

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Bolsonaro’s support in the Lower House totaled 54.82% in February
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 28 Feb 2019
A study by Arko Advice shows that the average support for bills backed by the Jair Bolsonaro administration in the Lower House totaled 54.82% in February. Eleven nominal votes were analyzed. The study only considered votes for which the government leadership provided guidance as to whether to vot...

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Are Chinese stock gains sustainable?
CHINA FINANCIAL - Report 28 Feb 2019 2 responses
Special points to highlight in this issue: * The Chinese stock market may well continue to deliver outsized returns for the rest of 2019, and if I had to bet, I would bet that it will perform well, but the recent rise has been all technical and there are no fundamental reasons driving the bull...

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COSTA RICA: Hesitation could hurt
CENTRAL AMERICA - Report 27 Feb 2019
Costa Rica’s economic outlook in 2019 is expected to be similar to that of 2018, in terms of the main macroeconomic indicators. The fiscal reform package approved in December 2018 was significant enough to curve negative expectations through H2 2018, when uncertainty and lack of confidence over t...

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Draft of DASKA published
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 27 Feb 2019
The US Congress has published a draft bill of the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act. It was introduced by both Republicans and Democrats. The big names behind it include Lindsey Graham. The bill was drafted on 13 February but until now the text was secret. The text is as one...

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Matolcsy to remain MNB governor, Pleschinger to stay on the MC for another six years
HUNGARY - In Brief 27 Feb 2019
Parliament's Economic Committee voted to support another six-year term for György Matolcsy as governor of the MNB yesterday, after PM Orbán proposed Mr. Matolcsy's reappointment to the president of the republic. The head of the Economic Committee also said that the committee's Fidesz majority was...

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Areas of financial stress
INDIA - Report 26 Feb 2019
This note presents an update on the stress in the financial system and its implications for the economy. The stress in the economy started with a slow deterioration of the balance sheet of non-banks in 2011. About one third of the non-financial firm balance sheet is now under credit stress, in...

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The Monetary Council today: no policy change, eyebrows let just slightly lower
HUNGARY - In Brief 26 Feb 2019
It seems the Monetary Council does everything to provide the market with as little guidance as possible. There was once again no policy change announced after today's monthly rate-setting meeting, and they did care not to make any marked change in the language of the communiqué. In one little cha...

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The DA unveils its 2019 manifesto - the manifesto for change, it says!
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 26 Feb 2019
The Democratic Alliance (DA), led by Mmusi Maimane, launched its 2019 National Elections manifesto on Saturday, February 23, 2019. The DA remains South Africa’s biggest opposition party, but its “appeal” started to slowly fizzle out after it was beset by problems since the 2016 local government e...

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Economics: Social policy coherence, loose ends
MEXICO - Report 25 Feb 2019
Social policy has long been a central theme of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and on the presidential campaign trail he largely focused on cash transfer programs and fighting corruption. Almost three months into his presidential administration his discourse has evolved somewhat, but not much has be...