Country Insights

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SAUDI: Private-sector GDP down about -10% m/m in March
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 30 Jun 2020 1 response
On June 30, Saudi Arabia was the first Gulf state to publish Q1 real GDP data (GAS). The headline figure is a -1.0% y/y contraction (-4.6% oil, +1.6% non-oil), compared with -0.3% y/y in Q4, or a seasonally adjusted contraction of -0.4% q/q. On the surface, this may seem like a much smaller impac...

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The MNB is reducing liquidity through moderate withdrawals of FX swaps
HUNGARY - In Brief 30 Jun 2020
The stock of the MNB's 'fine-tuning' FX swaps essentially did not move between end-April and early last week: the outstanding stock decreased just marginally, from HUF 1929bn to HUF 1922bn in this period. But then, on June 22's tender, the stock was reduced to HUF 1884bn and on June 29, it was cu...

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Russia to allow e visas to boost tourism
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 30 Jun 2020
On June 29 Russian Parliament approved a law allowing people from 53 countries to obtain a tourist visa online. The scheme takes effect on January 1 2021. Current tourist visas are expensive and time consuming to obtain. The e-visa will only be valid to visit Moscow, St Petersburg and part of the...

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Minister of Education´s inauguration postponed
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 29 Jun 2020
The Ministry of Education continues to cause problems for President Jair Bolsonaro. Carlos Alberto Decotelli, appointed to the position last week, had his inauguration ceremony – scheduled for tomorrow, June 30 – postponed after revelations of inconsistencies in his resume. At the Planalto Palace...

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​Indonesia: Maintaining the social fabric during the pandemic
INDONESIA - Report 29 Jun 2020
Covid-19 has hit not only​ the health of the people, but also their welfare. Particularly in Indonesia, where the informal economy remains large, the implementation of restrictions on people's mobility in various areas resulted in a significant hit to their income. With the prospect of their inco...

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Beijing’s new Covid-19 outbreak
CHINA FINANCIAL - Report 29 Jun 2020
Special points to highlight in this issue: • China’s gradual economic recovery from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic was interrupted two weeks ago by reports of a new outbreak in Beijing. I have no especial expertise in epidemiology, but given the extent of Beijing’s reaction, I do not expec...

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The emergency aid battle and other weekly topics
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 29 Jun 2020
The mid-year recess of the Judiciary begins on Friday, July 3. In the Lower House, deputies will continue the vote on Provisional Measure no. 944, which concerns credit lines to finance companies’ payrolls. In the Senate, the highlight is the bill on fake news. There is pressure to include the bi...

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The pandemic takes its toll
CENTRAL AMERICA - Report 29 Jun 2020
Costa Rica’s second wave of the pandemic is on its way, as happened in other countries after restrictive measures were relaxed. The gradual reopening plan begun at the end of May was interrupted June 19th, after a hike of non-clustered cases, the most worrying indicator of eventual massive contag...

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Politics: AMLO campaigns, Morena struggles
MEXICO - Report 29 Jun 2020 1 response
With a drastic worsening of economic, political, public health and social conditions potentially jeopardizing his party’s chances next year, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador unofficially began campaigning, with visits to the states beginning June 1, many months before candidates for public o...

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The Consensus and the IMF Projections: Which Is Most Realistic?
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 29 Jun 2020
Last week the IMF published new projections for growth in 2020 and 2021, with marked reductions, conflicting with the “optimism” indicated by the appreciation of stock prices in the United States, Europe and Brazil. According to the fundamentals, the prices of shares reflect the present value of ...

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Economics: Indicators confirm worsening in key economic sectors
MEXICO - Report 29 Jun 2020
Economic news published in June confirmed expectations of a rapidly deteriorating economic situation. Although the Mexican economy had already been suffering negative results for several months, beginning in the second half of March that downtrend was aggravated by the Covid-19 effect, with readi...

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The pandemic hit the real economy and the fiscal situation harder than anticipated. Banks face a year of living dangerously…while the PRD Party (in power) criticizes Cortizo.
PANAMA - Report 29 Jun 2020
The government's estimate of a GDP contraction of 3.3 percent for 2020 (projected in March by the MEF) seems optimistic now, because the economy is in a virtual shutdown of more than fifty percent of real activity, with no date in sight for further re-openings. Unemployment may double by the end ...

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Growth in private consumption stalls
ISRAEL - Report 29 Jun 2020
The number of new Covid-19 infections has accelerated recently, and some restrictions are likely to be imposed. Private consumption growth stalled in the last week and is still 12% below the beginning of the year. A slow economic recovery supports steady Bank of Israel bond purchases geared towar...

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Russia brings forward delivery of air defense system to India
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 28 Jun 2020
On June 26 Kommersant reported that Russia is going to deliver S-400 air defense systems to India this year. They were supposed to be delivered in 2021. An S-400 system protects airspace. Border clashes between India and China led to Delhi requesting the S-400 system be delivered ahead of schedul...

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A pregnant pause
TURKEY - Report 28 Jun 2020
Turkish politics is a rich vein of gold that keeps political analysts entertained and well-paid. At the eve of July, a time when centralized high school and college entrance exams are finally out of the way, which means families with children will head South for a well-deserved vacation, the caul...