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The Challenges Ahead
MEXICO · Report · 17 Dec 2013

Executive Summary As we near the end of what could be described as the most congressionally productive year the Mexican government has enjoyed in at least two decades, there is a bit of irony in the fact that the administration that has presided over such an ambitious reform agenda has lower appr...

Economics: Looking for the FDI Tide to Turn
MEXICO · Report · 17 Dec 2013

Executive Summary Last week the Mexican Congress passed energy reform amendments to the constitution with the support of the PAN and PRI, and over the opposition of the PRD. The most significant aspect of the reform is the extent to which it opens the industry to private investment through a broa...

Monetary Policy: Making a Normal Day Tighter
TURKEY · In Brief · 17 Dec 2013

Today's MPC decision brought no surprises on the "three policy rates" -- the so-called two stable rates (repo rate of 4.5% and primary dealer rate of 6.75%) as well as the marginal funding rate (of 7.75%) -- they all remained unchanged. But by reducing the amount of liquidity provided at the "che...

AKP vs. Gulen Church: Tooth for tooth
TURKEY · In Brief · 17 Dec 2013 · 3 responses

Turkey was shaken to the roots today, as a nation-wide graft operation was launched, with reportedly -The sons of Ministers Muammer Guler and Zafer Caglayan, -Turkey’s most famous real estate developer Mr. Ali Agaoglu, -Halkbank GM Suleyman Aslan taken into custody. (No names confirmed officially...

Government infrastructure spending down
PHILIPPINES · In Brief · 17 Dec 2013 · 2 responses

The papers today reported a 25.7% "surge" in government infrastructure spending from January to October. This is not good news. In fact, based on our calculations, the cumulative figure hides a 12.7% decline in October infra expenditures, an acceleration of the 7% fall in September. We had occasi...

Politics: A New Cycle of Reforms
CHILE · Report · 16 Dec 2013

Yesterday Michelle Bachelet, candidate of the coalition Nueva Mayoria, was elected President of Chile with a 62.16% of the preferences against a 37.83% of Evelyn Matthei. In the second round there was a significant reduction in participation compared to the first round. Under the newly implemente...

Political Insights: Week of December 16
BRAZIL POLITICS · Report · 16 Dec 2013

This is the final week of the year for legislative activity in Congress. The Union Budget is the main item on the agenda. The government’s goal is to conclude voting on the budget bill this week. If the vote is postponed until February, there will be problems for the government, since electoral l...

Economic Activity: What Do The Most Recent Data Indicate?
BRAZIL ECONOMICS · Report · 16 Dec 2013

In the past few days two indicators of economic activity have been published: real retail sales, estimated by the IBGE; and the IBC-Br, which is the proxy for GDP estimated by the Central Bank. Both indicate growth in October in relation to September. These figures partly allay the negative pictu...

Bachelet is elected President
CHILE · In Brief · 15 Dec 2013

Today Michelle Bachelet was elected President of Chile with a 62.16% of the preferences against a 37.83% of Evelyn Matthei. The presidential election exhibited a significant reduction in participation compared to the first round. Under the newly implemented voluntary voting system, of the 13.6 mi...

The Price of Gasoline
VENEZUELA · In Brief · 15 Dec 2013

Shortly after the December 8 elections, the government started hinting at a gasoline price increase coupled with new subsidies to public transport. Jorge Arreaza, Executive Vicepresident, and Haiman El Troudi, Minister of Land Transportation, placed the topic on the public agenda. Rafael Ramirez,...

A turning point?
UKRAINE · In Brief · 15 Dec 2013 · 2 responses

Yesterday Victor Yanukovitch dismissed three officials who were allegedly responsible for bloody crackdown on the night of November 30. Those three were (a) Oleksandr Popov, Head of Kyiv city administration (Kyiv was not allowed to have major elections and Popov was effectively the ruler of the c...

Weekly Tracker: December 15-21
TURKEY · Report · 15 Dec 2013

Executive Summary New polls show AKP having dropped to 46%, but the party is certain to win most big-city races. PKK leaders are threatening war once again, while Kurdish provinces erupted in protest in response to alleged police killings of three citizens. The Ergenekon-Sledgehammer coup plottin...

CNI/Ibope Poll: Positive Evaluations Of The Dilma Administration Increase
BRAZIL POLITICS · Report · 13 Dec 2013

A new CNI/Ibope poll was released today on the Dilma Rousseff administration. Positive evaluations (“great/good”) increased from 37% to 43% (6 points) from September to December, while “regular” evaluations fell from 39% to 35% (4 points) during the same period.Negative evaluations (“bad/very bad...

Unchanged Policy Stance
PHILIPPINES · In Brief · 12 Dec 2013

The BSP took its cue from the US Fed and signaled today a prospective rate hike when the Monetary Board meets next week. The Fed earlier indicated that it may move forward the timetable for ending its stimulus program, with markets projecting a rate hike as early as April 2015 (from July previous...

The Benefit of the Doubt
ARGENTINA · Report · 11 Dec 2013

Executive Summary We wondered before whether the recent appointments suggested a change in economic policy or not. The departure of former Interior Trade Secretary Guillermo Moreno and the appointment of Jorge Capitanich as Chief of Cabinet suggested the possibility of a substantial change. After...