Industry loses 1.7% on trade blockade in February
UKRAINE · In Brief · 24 Mar 2017

In February industrial output fell 4.6% y/y compared to +5.6% y/y in the prior month. Predictably, mining (-11.5% y/y) and metals (-4.3% y/y) led the decline. However, the major part of the drop was due to high comparative base: industry decline was only 1.7% y/y when adjusted for calendar days. ...

Politics: The Challenges Facing the PAN in 2018
MEXICO · Report · 23 Mar 2017

The latest polling continues to suggest that next year’s presidential race will be mainly between Morena’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and the eventual nominee of the National Action Party (PAN), with at least one poll showing the latter party with a five-point edge 16 months before the vote. Mo...

Economics: Access to Credit Tightens
MEXICO · Report · 23 Mar 2017

Financing to the non financial private sector continued to experience high levels of real-term growth in late 2016, and bank credit in particular sustained an especially pronounced expansion during January 2017 in the case of both company loans and consumer credit, according to central bank data....

Outsourcing vote spells trouble ahead for Pension Reform
BRAZIL POLITICS · Report · 23 Mar 2017

Yesterday, the Lower House approved the bill that regulates outsourcing in Brazil, with 231 votes in favor and 188 against. In 2015, a similar proposal (Bill 4330/04) was approved by the Lower House by a more comfortable margin: 324-137.

Too Close To Be Good
ECUADOR · Report · 23 Mar 2017

The latest polls published March 21st by four independent pollsters give Lenin Moreno, the official candidate an advantage of around 4% over Guillermo Lasso, the candidate from the opposition for the second round election that will take place next April the second. Null and blank votes sum a...

Seeking Growth of About 6.5%
CHINA · Report · 23 Mar 2017

Prime Minister Keqiang Li announced in a March 5th address to Congress that China was aiming for growth of about 6.5% for 2017, with CPI of about 3%. He also said the government would continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy, and maintain a prudent and neutral monetary policy, with the M2 ...

After Tatfondbank: latest Russian Central Bank licensing moves show tightening, even for state banks
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · Report · 23 Mar 2017

Following Tatfondbank’s license revocation in early March, the Central Bank of Russia has shown not only its appetite for closing private pocket banks, but also its readiness to tackle criminal mismanagement of assets in larger state-owned institutions.

Rapid changes at Rosneft altering Russia’s O&G sector
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · Report · 23 Mar 2017

Since the start of 2017 Rosneft has announced news on foreign projects almost on a weekly basis: March 21 the company agreed with Egypt on delivery of 10 tankers of LNG for the year, following plans to exploit the Zohr gas field in the Mediterranean alongside Eni and BP. In February, it settled o...

Domestic Investment Booms amid Scarce FDI: Agriculture and State Investment Drives Growth
UKRAINE · Report · 22 Mar 2017

In 2016, investment in fixed assets began to recover quickly, growing +18.0% y/y through the year, with 2H 2016 especially strong. More specifically, investment in fixed assets increased 27.2% y/y in 3Q 2016 and 20.8% y/y in 4Q 2016. All this happened amid a meager FDI inflow of $3.3 billion in 2...

The Current Account Deficit Contracts in 2016
SOUTH AFRICA · Report · 22 Mar 2017

Following an increase during the third quarter of 2016 (to 3.8% of GDP), the deficit on the current account narrowed markedly during the fourth quarter of 2016 to register 1.7% of GDP. In a similar manner, the current account deficit for 2016 as a whole declined to 3.3% of GDP from 4.4% of GDP in...

Lenin Moreno leads electoral polls
ECUADOR · In Brief · 22 Mar 2017

Four pollsters published electoral forecasts yesterday and all of them give an advantage to the official candidate Lenin Moreno that is around 4% to 5% of valid votes. The trend, however, seems to favor Moreno which makes it quite difficult for Lasso to turn this result around. On average they pl...

After the National People’s Congress
CHINA FINANCIAL · Report · 21 Mar 2017

Special points to highlight in this issue: • There have been many arguments proffered over the past several years in favor of both depreciating and stabilizing the RMB and in favor of both raising and lowering Chinese interest rates. • From a purely economic point of view, the benefits for Ch...

A Sleepy Summer
CHILE · Report · 21 Mar 2017

The economy was off to a better-than-expected start in 2017. In the 12 months to January, the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (Imacec) expanded 1.7%. Yet activity is still weak. Correcting for the number of business days, the Imacec in January grew by a modest 1.5% y/y. Imacec in February will...

Week of March 20
BRAZIL POLITICS · Report · 20 Mar 2017

The government will announce cuts to the Federal Budget and will indicate the need for tax increases to meet the year’s R$ 130 billion deficit target. The requests for inquiries presented by General Prosecutor of the Republic Rodrigo Janot will be received by the rapporteur of the Lava Jato in th...

The GDP Gap and the Behavior of Potential GDP
BRAZIL ECONOMICS · Report · 20 Mar 2017

Why has inflation been falling? The explanation rests in the combination the power of monetary policy, whose effects can be belated, but will not fail to occur, and the large and persistent negative output gap. Not only is the unemployment rate now below the NAIRU (the rate that does not accelera...