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Country Insights

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Scary Year Ahead
COLOMBIA - Report 21 Sep 2015
Q2 GDP expansion of 3% was pretty much in Iine with expectations, and showed slowdown to be modest, compared with the predicament of other Latin American economies. We expect 2.9% expansion for 2015, just over the Central Bank’s forecast of 2.8%. But the government is projecting 3.5% growth. That...

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A New Chapter in the Fiscal Adjustment Drama
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 21 Sep 2015
Recognizing the serious error of sending to Congress a budget bill with a primary deficit of 0.5% of GDP, which prompted S&P to downgrade Brazil’s credit rating, the administration sent a package of measures to Congress aiming to achieve a primary surplus of 0.7% of GDP in 2016. It did not obtain...

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Local Debt Risk Contained
CHINA - Report 21 Sep 2015
Fixed asset investment increased 9.2% y/y in real terms in August, reaching its lowest level since this cycle of investment slowdown. Industrial output was up 6.1% y/y, but price-adjusted actual growth was even lower. The PMI index published by the National Bureau of Statistics shows August PMI a...

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Weekly Tracker: September 20-26
TURKEY - Report 20 Sep 2015
Our political analyst-cum-Cosmic strategist has opted for a different format in this Tracker, laying out his somewhat controversial albeit optimistic post-election scenario and thoughts. Please read on… We defer a detailed analysis of the week’s data releases to our monthly report to be publis...

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Dollarization At All Cost
ECUADOR - Report 17 Sep 2015
Dollarization at all costs was Finance Minister Fausto Herrera’s promise during a recent press conference – where listeners responded with a standing ovation. Herrera said the government would do whatever it takes to maintain the dollarized regime, by increasing the inflow of dollars, and protect...

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Economics: An Insufficiently Austere Budget
MEXICO - Report 15 Sep 2015
The Ministry of Finance handed Congress its 2016 budget proposals on Tuesday, September 8. The budget package includes both the revenue and spending bills along with the document containing the general economic assumptions that underpin the budget proposals. The various components of the 2016 pac...

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Politics: Peña’s Ratings Tank as Distrust Grows
MEXICO - Report 15 Sep 2015
As it approaches the midway point in its six-year term of office, the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto faces its lowest approval ratings to date. The economy’s sluggish performance, growing perceptions of official corruption and the public’s sense that conditions of public security ...

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​Concerned about escalating political risk
TURKEY - In Brief 15 Sep 2015
I was about to fire off a post about rising political risks, when an astute reader beat me to it with a couple of questions. As per my time-honored custom, s/he shall remain anonymous, but her/his questions and my answers shall live forever in memories like a beacon of hard-nosed strategic analys...

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The Current Account Deficit Continues to Contract
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 15 Sep 2015
The seasonally adjusted annualized current account balance posted a figure of minus R124 billion, bringing the current account balance as a percentage of GDP to -3.1% in Q2 2015. This represents a contraction in the current account deficit as a percentage of GDP from -4.7% in Q1 2015. This contra...

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Fiscal adjustment
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 15 Sep 2015
The government announced a set of spending cuts and tax increases totaling R$ 64.9 billion on Monday, September 14. Almost 50% of this total (R$ 32 billion) would come from the re-creation of the CPMF (Provisional Contribution on Financial Operations), which depends upon congressional approval.R$...

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Forecast update
CHILE - Report 14 Sep 2015
A great deal of water has flowed under the bridge since our last forecast, so we decided to update it. In a nutshell: we expect lower growth and higher inflation for the next two years (at least). We are not alone. Consensus Forecasts, the government and the Central Bank have moved in the same di...

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Week of September 14
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 14 Sep 2015
The main topics for the week are the spending cuts announcement and the impeachment debate in the House. The Senate votes on the Provisional Measure that increases the CSLL for financial institutions. AlexandreTombini (Tuesday) and Mangabeira Unger (Thursday) speak on the economic crisis in the S...

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The Downgrade of the Credit Rating
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 14 Sep 2015
To anyone who pays a minimum attention to the indications given by Brazil’s CDS quotations, it has long been clear that the country – sooner or later – would lose its investment grade rating. Last month, its quotations had already climbed well off the average relationship between the S&P credit r...

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Urgent: Improve Migration Policy
HUNGARY - Report 14 Sep 2015
The influx of Middle Eastern refugees is placing rising pressure on Hungary, and is becoming the country’s top political issue. The government has two options, neither of them favorable for Fidesz or for Hungary. The country could either defy the EU, blocking the entry of new migrants and allowin...

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Weekly Tracker: September 13-19
TURKEY - Report 13 Sep 2015
After devastating PKK attacks on Turkish security forces, Turkey experienced near-riots in the West, which may get worse if a cease-fire is not declared. This is not a likely scenario, but Ankara doesn’t have a viable strategy to combat terror, either. But we remain optimistic for a lasting solut...