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UPCOMING WEBINAR: ECUADOR'S FEBRUARY ELECTIONS - A CRITICAL POLITICAL ...

Russia struggling in Bakhmut as casualties mount
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · In Brief · 04 Jan 2023

On January 3 Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Russian TV that fighting in Bakhmut is very difficult. Prigozhin is the head of Wagner Private Military Company. Wagner fights alongside the Russian Army. Prigozhin said that the Ukrainians had built excellent defenses. It is house by house fighting. He did ...

Russian gas exports to non-CIS countries down 45% in 2022
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · In Brief · 03 Jan 2023 · 1 response

On January 3 Gazprom released the data. Gas exports outside the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was 101 billion cubic meters in 2022. It was 185 bcm in 2021. The CIS is an organization that is open to ex-USSR countries, and most of them have chosen to join. The EU was the principal Gazpr...

Inflation ends the year under 65%
TURKEY · Report · 03 Jan 2023

Consumer prices rose by some 1.2% in December, with the 12-month CPI inflation ending the year at under 65% (64.3%), down from 84.4% in November, but markedly higher than 36.1% of end-2021. December CPI print compares rather favorably to the consensus (of around 2.6-2.8%) and our somewhat lower f...

Adios, interim presidency
VENEZUELA · Report · 03 Jan 2023

The interim presidency was born in January 2019 under the hypothesis that growing street protests and the Trump administration's maximum pressure strategy would lead to the early breakdown of the Maduro government. It expired in December 2022 in the worst possible way. The debate that led to its ...

Russian bombardment of Ukraine continues
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · In Brief · 02 Jan 2023

On New Year's Day Russian missile and drone attacks continued. Ukraine said 4 people were killed and many were wounded. Russia continued to concentrate on the electric grid. Iranian drones were used. Ukraine said it shot down 45 drones. It claims a 70% success rate in destroying drones. The tempe...

Budget decree issued: a deficit of transparency
HUNGARY · In Brief · 02 Jan 2023

Just as expected, the government issued its decree to amend the 2023 budget on December 29. However, the decree did not include the whole set of documents, which are usually delivered to parliament for the discussion of annual budgets. As they have said, the budget will be handed in for ex-post a...

A somewhat dovish 0.5% hike, but much concern regarding fiscal policy
ISRAEL · In Brief · 02 Jan 2023

A somewhat dovish 0.5% hike, but much concern regarding fiscal policy The Bank of Israel pushed rates higher today by 0.5% to 3.75%, as widely expected. The monetary statement had a more dovish tone than in the past regarding inflation, which remains broad-based and impacted by domestic demand bu...

The 2021 GDP statistics revised up
RUSSIA ECONOMICS · In Brief · 02 Jan 2023

At the very end of 2022 Rosstat announced it had revised the country's national accounts for 2021. So far, only the annual figures have been re-appraised. As quarterly data remain unchanged, they do not match yet annual statistics (Rosstat plans to revise quarterly national accounts in April). Ac...

Putin's New Year's speech
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · In Brief · 31 Dec 2022

On December 31 the president delivered his traditional New Year TV address. He spoke from a military base near Ukraine. He was visiting troops including foreign volunteers in the Russian Army. The president awarded medals. He said that 2022 was ''pivotal''. He said Russia was fighting for ''true ...

GULF WEEKLY: Saudi invests in Dubai and Oman, Q3 GDP stronger in Bahrain than Oman, Oman signs LNG deal with Japan
GULF COUNTRIES · Report · 30 Dec 2022

A skimmable summary overlaid with our analysis and links. Headlines: * Israel’s hardline government could undermine warming relations with the Gulf. * Saudi Arabia’s current account surplus rose to 17% of GDP, while Qatar’s was around 29%. * PIF invested another $0.9bn in Lucid Group and com...

The shock of lifting COVID restrictions will be counteracted
CHINA · Report · 30 Dec 2022

In early December, China abandoned the zero-COVID policy restrictions it had maintained for nearly three years. This move was followed by a rapid increase in the number of infections all over the country. There are still challenges ahead, but we believe the economy should return to normal growth ...

Russia arrests dissident politicians and journalists
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · In Brief · 30 Dec 2022

On December 29 police arrested journalists and politicians in seven regions on suspicion of disseminating falsehoods about the war. Many of those arrested are associates of Ilya Ponomaryov, who is a Russian politician who has lived in Ukraine since 2022. Ponomaryov was arrested in absentia earlie...

Rates expected to increase by 0.5% on Monday
ISRAEL · In Brief · 30 Dec 2022

Rates expected to increase by 0.5% on Monday On Monday, January 2nd, the Bank of Israel is expected to raise policy rates by 0.5% to 3.75%. This is our expectation, as well as that of the majority of forecasters (according to Reuters), although we cannot rule out a more moderate hike of 0.25%. Wh...

Life is not easy for any of us
CHILE · Report · 29 Dec 2022

Chilean economic activity as measured by the IMACEC grew in October, due to a temporary increase in mining and a recovery in commerce. But the 12-month variation of the IMACEC fell into negative territory. Retail sales also increased, due to a successful Cyber Day. But the outlook for consumption...

Oman and Qatar budget conservatively; Sharjah remains a concern despite a spending cut
GULF COUNTRIES · Report · 29 Dec 2022

* Conservative oil assumptions were used by Oman ($55) and Qatar ($65). * These result in a budgeted -3% of GDP deficit for Oman and a 3.5% surplus for Qatar. * Oman’s spending (ex-fuel subsidies) is budgeted to rise by about 5% vs its 2022 outturn. * Qatar’s spending is budgeted to fall by -3...