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Country Insights

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The Road to the 2015 Elections
MEXICO - Report 15 Aug 2014
Executive Summary All political parties will be focusing their attention between now and next summer on the 2015 federal elections, in which all 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies will be up for election, as well as state and municipal offices in 15 states. The electoral calendar starts when el...

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How to Raise the Minimum Wage
MEXICO - Report 15 Aug 2014
Executive Summary The country’s minimum wage has emerged as a major topic in the national political debate in recent days. Mexico is the only Latin American country in which the minimum wage is below the extreme poverty line, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbea...

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CPI, GDP data: Too much of rain and a stronger than expected economy
HUNGARY - In Brief 14 Aug 2014
Facts: 1. July CPI-inflation was 0.2% mom / 0.1% yoy, the latter up from -0.3% in June; 2. Q2 GDP (preliminary, sda) was up 0.8% qoq / 3.7% yoy, after 1.1% qoq / 3.2% yoy. Both CPI and GDP were somewhat stronger than expected. Significance: 1. Some say that the short period of negative inflation ...

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A second term for the President?
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 14 Aug 2014
The Philippine Constitution prohibits it, which is why when the presumptive presidential candidate of the ruling Liberal Party, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, sent out the trial balloon last week, analysts quickly shot it down as the desperate idea of one receiving low ratings in presidential pref...

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Ritornello
VENEZUELA - Report 13 Aug 2014
Ritornello: A recurrent musical section that alternates with different episodes of contrasting material. The repetition can be exact or varied to a greater or lesser extent. Encyclopedia Britannica. Here we are, writing about the exchange rate again. A window of opportunity for reform of the fore...

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Brazil Presidential Election
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 13 Aug 2014
The Impact of the Tragedy on the PSB Ticket Given that Marina Silva is Eduardo Campos’ natural successor, the main consequences of the tragedy that took the life of the PSB presidential candidate are the increased probability of the election going to a second round and the threat to Aécio Neves’ ...

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Banks protest the central bank's move to rewrite the past
HUNGARY - In Brief 11 Aug 2014
Hungary's banking association says that the MNB's recently issued guideline on how banks should calculate the amount of refunds to household credit clients, on account of illegally charging a currency conversion spread under FX loan contracts where no actual currency conversion was involved, is i...

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Credit: The Supply and Demand Signs
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 11 Aug 2014
Credit plays an important role in economic growth. Most companies that have projects to raise productive capacity, contributing to growth, have to find some type of financing. Individuals also benefit from credit by the ability to consume in advance of earning, especially regarding durables. Vari...

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Missing the Recovery Trajectory
SOUTH AFRICA - Forecast 11 Aug 2014
Executive Summary The South African economic performance in 2014 has been marred by damaging strikes which gave enough reasons for negative credit ratings actions. Labour unions have grown radical and militant. Splintering among unions along political fault lines suggests that South Africa has en...

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Political Insights: Week of August 11
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 11 Aug 2014
This will be a busy week because of the elections.The presidential candidates will be interviewed by TV Globo’s Jornal Nacional, the highest rated news show in the country.A Sensus poll on the presidential race may be released on Friday.There will also be new polls on the presidential race and gu...

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​Erdogan Years, Day One: Weak mandate for strong presidency
TURKEY - In Brief 10 Aug 2014
Good morning and Welcome to “Erdogan Years” in Turkey. I’m posting my initial thoughts at 6:00 am Turkey time so that our Asian and West European readers have some analysis to work with. The agenda of the coming days will be set by today’s central committee meetings, after which I will pen a more...

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Two Opposite Pictures: Asset Prices and the Real Economy
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 08 Aug 2014
Executive Summary In the midst of economic performance that can be characterized as stagflation, asset prices have recently been appreciating. The Ibovespa has risen more than the stock market indexes of other emerging markets, and has far outpaced the S&P-500 in recent weeks. Simultaneously, ...

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Brazil Presidential Election
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 08 Aug 2014
Ibope Reveals Stability The second Ibope poll on the presidential race since the candidacies were made official presents a scenario of stability.President Dilma Rousseff (PT) preserved her intended votes from the previous poll, while senator Aécio Neves (PSDB-MG) and former governor Eduardo Campo...

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Foreign Policy Coming Home
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 08 Aug 2014
An official statement that defending compatriots abroad will be a defining trait of Russia’s foreign policy leaves the country in an uneasy position in its relations with the neighbors where large parts of the population (or even the whole population depending on the definition) can be viewed as ...

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Russia bans some food imports from countries that implemented sanctions
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - In Brief 07 Aug 2014 2 responses
Russia decided to fire back at countries that implemented sanctions against the country. Yesterday President V. Putin signed decree allowing the Government to ban or limit food imports from countries that started sanctions against Russia. In speedy manner the Government signed today a bill that c...