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The Current Account Deficit and Fiscal Policy
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 09 Dec 2013
Between December 2012 and the end of last October, the current account deficit rose from US$ 54.2 billion, or 2.4% of GDP, to US$ 82.2 billion, or 3.7% of GDP (Graph 1). The worsening of the current accounts closely follows the decline of the trade balance, which are near zero and are only not wo...

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Mandela’s Macroeconomic Policy Legacy Persists
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 09 Dec 2013
The passing of new South Africa’s founding president, Nelson Mandela, affectionately known as Madiba, is yet another remarkable moment in the country’s young democratic dispensation. Once again, the nation has arisen to defy all predictions of chaos and negativity – instead unifying across all ra...

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Mandela’s Macroeconomic Policy Legacy Persists
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 09 Dec 2013
The passing of new South Africa’s founding president, Nelson Mandela, affectionately known as Madiba, is yet another remarkable moment in the country’s young democratic dispensation. Once again, the nation has arisen to defy all predictions of chaos and negativity-instead unifying across all raci...

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A Bold Proposal for The Energy Reform
MEXICO - In Brief 08 Dec 2013 1 response
The long wait is over. PAN and PRI have presented a draft of the energy reform that is currently being discussed in the Senate, where the debate is expected to continue until Monday, before it passes to the Chamber of Deputies. It is a bold proposal that allows for private investment in power pro...

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Weekly Tracker: December 8-14
TURKEY - Report 08 Dec 2013
Executive Summary Last Monday AKP extended an olive branch to the Gulen Church by delaying the closure of private tutoring schools for two years. This gesture may reduce the “headline” risk, but mutual sniping and harping continues, suggesting a permanent rift. There are very few election polls, ...

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A New Leading Indicator of Economic Activity
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 06 Dec 2013
Executive Summary In this report, we present a new leading indicator of economic activity in Brazil. Its most important characteristic is to forecast the turning points of economic cycles. Our methodology follows that of the OECD. In constructing our indicator, we started with 52 candidate variab...

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In Bad Company
PERU - Report 06 Dec 2013
Executive Summary New Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva, quite successful as president of the San Martin region at eradicating coca leaf crops, has been lauded for his hands-on approach to governance. That will be a refreshing change, as Villanueva’s predecessor seemed uncomfortable with decision-m...

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Gold Smuggling and the Decline in the CAD
INDIA - In Brief 06 Dec 2013
When India brought back restrictions against legal gold imports earlier this year, there was a surge of capital and labour devoted to criminal organisations. The decline of official gold imports, from $16.5B in the June quarter to $3.5B in the September quarter, most likely went with a surge in b...

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Top-Level Individual Tasks
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 05 Dec 2013
Putin’s personal involvement and intense economic handwringing in Ukrainian–EU relations allowed him to halt and postpone the Association agreement. However, his goal is beyond that, as Russia is trying all means to coerce Ukraine into joining the Customs Union. The Russian leadership has much ec...

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Government Spending Slows; Inflation Up
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 05 Dec 2013
Government reported today an P11.2 billion deficit in October bringing the year-to-date overall deficit to P112.5 billion, less than half the programmed P238 billion deficit for the year.  Year-on-year changes in October revenues were flat, with growth in BIR collections slowing to 11% vs. over 2...

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Guide for December 8
VENEZUELA - Report 04 Dec 2013
What’s at stake? Chavismo currently controls 85 % of the municipalities in the country (284 out of 335). In all likelihood, it will continue controlling a significant majority of municipalities after December 8. In our view, three indicators will be used to measure success in the upcoming electio...

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Industrial Production: Positive Result, But Not a Clear Recovery Trend
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 04 Dec 2013
Industrial output has been extremely volatile for several months, so much so that it even appears in the 12-month rates, which by construction should behave more smoothly (Graph 1). For this reason, the short-term numbers only provide imprecise information on the trend. The data in Graph 1 show a...

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GDP: Another Frustrating Result...
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 03 Dec 2013
The frustrating GDP growth in the third quarter – worse than the median of market forecasts – requires us not only to revise the projection for GDP growth in 2013, but also for 2014. The third-quarter result has made it virtually impossible to reach our previous projection of 2.5% growth in 2013....

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Mean Reversion Reigns
TURKEY - Report 03 Dec 2013
After a few bad prints of late, CPI inflation surprised favorably today, which is not that unusual historically, given the mean reverting nature of the gap between actual and forecasted inflation (Graph 1).The surprise, in turn, as it is also often the case, was driven by food prices to a large e...

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New Inklings of Growth
MEXICO - Report 03 Dec 2013
Executive SummaryThe economic data released last month mainly corresponded to September and October, and for the most part was negative. Consumer confidence slumped significantly in September (3.3 index points lower than August’s reading), and in October (2.9 points below that of September). The ...