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South African Economy: Weekly Review and Outlook
SOUTH AFRICA · In Brief · 19 Jul 2013

The South African Reserve Bank’s decision to leave the repo rate unchanged yesterday highlights the fact that monetary policy in South Africa has become largely dormant. With economic growth forecasts revised downwards – due to electricity supply constraints as well as other domestic and global f...

Costa Rica: Rainy Weather
CENTRAL AMERICA · Report · 19 Jul 2013

Executive Summary The economic outlook for Costa Rica looks bleak.With early-year production figures revised downward, the economy is on track to grow just 2.5%, its slowest since 2009, and just 50% of last year’s growth rate.We forecast the fiscal deficit at 5.4% of nominal GDP, up from 4.4% rec...

The Benchmark Interest Rate Remains Unchanged
SOUTH AFRICA · Report · 18 Jul 2013

Despite indications of increasing upside risks to the inflation outlook, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) today opted to maintain the repo rate at 5.0% per year. The sluggish growth environment – with the inflation adjusted gross domestic product growing at a seasonally adjusted annualized r...

Spending Struggles
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC · Report · 17 Jul 2013

Executive Summary Inflation is still under control, despite expansionary monetary policies that have lowered interest rates. Inflation was 4.8% y/y in June, still within the 4%-6% target range, and down from May 2012-May 2013. But the DOP abruptly and mysteriously devalued, to 42 to the dollar on...

The Rupee: Trends and Predictions
INDIA · Report · 17 Jul 2013

Executive Summary Foreign institutional investors withdrew $7.17 billion from Indian markets in June. While this was influenced by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s statements on May 21 and 22, the major reasons for their exit appear to lie elsewhere. India needs to receive about Rs.20 billion daily in...

Sicad Methodology
VENEZUELA · Report · 16 Jul 2013

On Monday, July 15 in the afternoon, Armando León, member of the board of BCV, announced the methodology to be used to award forex in the Sicad auction on Wednesday, July 16. BCV will define a range (i.e., floor and ceiling). Bids that fall outside the range will be disqualified. Forex will be so...

An Opening Too Far
MEXICO · Report · 16 Jul 2013

Executive Summary Last week, Banco de México (Banxico) released its regularly scheduled review of monetary policy, in which the central bank left its overnight interbank lending rate at 4%. Banxico reaffirmed it is convinced that its current monetary policy is congruent with a scenario in which t...

Weekly Tracker: July 16-23
BRAZIL POLITICS · Report · 16 Jul 2013

The week begins with indecision regarding the congressional recess. According to the Constitution, to begin the recess, congressmen and senators must vote on the Budget Guidelines Law. However, the rapporteur believes that it will not be voted upon until August. The government may announce budget...

Concrete Results Urgently Needed
MEXICO · Report · 15 Jul 2013

Executive Summary This week we are dedicating our Political Outlook section entirely to the results of the most recent quarterly survey of voter opinion conducted by GEA-ISA, entitled “Mexico: Politics, society and change.” One of the most striking aspects of the most recent poll was the consider...

A Cooling Economy
BRAZIL ECONOMICS · Report · 15 Jul 2013

Three indicators point to cooling of the Brazilian economy: those for the labor market, industrial output and monthly GDP (IBC-Br). Brazil’s industrial production has not grown since 2010. The main reason for this stagnation is the rising unit labor cost. Despite clear signs of a weakening of the...

A Politics and Econ Update
TURKEY · Report · 12 Jul 2013

Executive Summary Recent actions by PM Erdogan and AKP give the impression that the party has parted ways with reality. A chief proponent of the ‘High Rates Lobby’ has been appointed Chief Advisor to PM, while the authorities have begun to investigate financial transactions to find corroborators ...

Retail Sales (May 2013)
BRAZIL ECONOMICS · Report · 11 Jul 2013

In May, retail sales in the restricted concept remained stable, but in the augmented sense (including cars and construction materials) there was a decline of 0.8%. In relation to May last year, the respective variations were 4.5% and 4.4% (Graph 1). Graph 1 Retail Sales – 12-month variation Among...

Midyear Brief
VENEZUELA · Report · 10 Jul 2013

Dialogue with the private sector is President Maduro’s most important public policy initiative so far, seeking to identify and resolve the most critical obstacles to local production. Hostility has given way to a rather relaxed exchange of views. The short list of urgent matters includes access t...

Political Weakness and Economic Mismanagement
BRAZIL ECONOMICS · Report · 10 Jul 2013

Executive Summary The perspectives for the Brazilian economy have taken a turn for the worse. The most optimistic projections for 2013 are for GDP growth below 2.5% (though still above 2%); inflation near (or slightly above) 6%; and the SELIC rate at 9.5% or 10%. The picture is further worsened b...

Construction and Public Policy
MEXICO · Report · 09 Jul 2013

Executive Summary Last week officials released readings of how consumers and producers perceive the performance of the economy and of how their respective finances or businesses are evolving. The Consumer Confidence Index for June recorded a 2.4% softening of sentiment compared to the same month ...