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Confidence Matters
SOUTH AFRICA · Forecast · 09 Apr 2014

Executive Summary One quarter into 2014, it appears that a blend of domestic and global ingredients will decide the course of South Africa’s economic performance going forward. Confidence at home is by and large low. On the whole, we expect a lackluster economic performance as consumption spendin...

There Goes Plan B
PERU · Report · 08 Apr 2014

Executive Summary First lady Nadine Heredia has rapidly metamorphosed from the government’s main political asset into its biggest liability. Her involvement in the abrupt dismissal of Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva was so obvious, and Villanueva’s sacking so crude, that Heredia drew heavy critic...

Political Insights: Week of April 8
BRAZIL POLITICS · Report · 08 Apr 2014

The allegations involving Petrobras continue to reverberate in Congress. The decision by Senate President Renan Calheiros to expand the scope of the investigation involving the governments of the PSDB and PSB will be analyzed by the Constitution and Justice Committee and the floor. Regarding the ...

Education: An Uphill Battle
MEXICO · Report · 08 Apr 2014

Executive Summary The ratification early last year of a constitutional reform on education was the Pact for Mexico’s first major success, but implementing it is proving to be a daunting task. With the support of all three major political parties, the reform cleared the way for the State to reclai...

The Remittance Tide Turns Anew
MEXICO · Report · 08 Apr 2014

Executive Summary Household remittance inflows to Mexico totaled US$1.68 billion in February 2014, a 5.7% increase year over year. With February’s report, remittances have risen above year earlier levels for three months straight.This is good news for the more than 1.3 million people receiving re...

Hungary Voted for Continuity
HUNGARY · Report · 07 Apr 2014

Fidesz-KDNP Won a Constitutional Majority Again According to preliminary results released by the National Electoral Committee, the incumbent governing alliance Fidesz-KDNP won the regular four-yearly election held in the unicameral National Assembly yesterday (April 6). The winner acquired 133 ou...

Luis Guillermo Solis Elected President of Costa Rica
CENTRAL AMERICA · Report · 07 Apr 2014

Luis Guillermo Solis of the opposition Citizens Action Party (PAC) won a landslide victory over Johnny Araya of the official National Liberation Party in Sunday´s runoff election. Solis obtained nearly 78% of the valid vote, whereas Araya, who virtually withdrew from the race a month ago, receive...

The Weak Performance Of The Trade Balance
BRAZIL ECONOMICS · Report · 07 Apr 2014

There are still no signs of recovery of the trade balance, even though the real exchange rate is currently 14% weaker than it was a year ago. The first quarter closed with a deficit of US$ 6 billion, which is the biggest quarterly deficit in the history of the series, dating to 1959. In the 12 mo...

Monetary Policy in an Election Year
BRAZIL ECONOMICS · Report · 07 Apr 2014

Executive Summary The administration is faced with the unsavory prospect of an election year with weak economic growth combined with high inflation, with virtually no ammunition (fiscal or monetary) to improve matters in the short run. In 2011 and 2012 it pushed the interest rate substantially be...

The Smell of the Rose
TURKEY · Report · 04 Apr 2014

Executive Summary“Sometimes victory is not about how well you have performed, but how poorly your rival did”—Cosmic StrategistFive days after the local elections, Turkey’s electoral supervisor, the High Election Council (HEC) is yet to announce the official results. We have two different vote tal...

Russia Enlargement
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · Report · 04 Apr 2014

Russia has made a dramatic foreign policy turn, disregarding all previously valued compromises with the West, by including the Crimean peninsula in the Russian Federation despite the objections of the Ukrainian leadership, the EU and the US. This will also impact Russia’s relations with Asia as i...

Lower Inflation
PHILIPPINES · In Brief · 04 Apr 2014

Philippine headline inflation slid further to 3.9% in March, bucking market expectations of a slight pickup to 4.2%. This serves to anchor inflation expectations further and gives local monetary authorities more room to manage its exit from loose policy settings. Given relatively tame inflation n...

Budget revenues surged 24.1% y/y in March on VAT reimbursement delay
UKRAINE · In Brief · 04 Apr 2014

State collections in March suddenly surged up 24.1% y/y, the Treasury reported on April 3rd. In general, for the first quarter central budget revenues were reported 5.8% more than a year ago. At the same time the Treasury registered 35% decline in VAT reimbursement for the first three months. Tho...

Inflation In, Easing Out
TURKEY · Report · 03 Apr 2014

March CPI inflation came in at a higher than expected 1.1%, which meant an increase in the 12-month rate to 8.4% from about 8% a month earlier, as PPI inflation also remained rather elevated (Table 1; Graph 1). This time, food prices are not to blame, with the negative surprise coming from core i...

Negative on Balance
MEXICO · Report · 02 Apr 2014

Executive SummaryMarch economic data was mostly negative. Even as the government accelerated spending programs, and offered to expand its mortgage lending programs to help revive a deeply depressed housing industry, there was further evidence that the economy, especially in the domestic sectors, ...