NEWS FLASH

UPCOMING WEBINAR - MEXICO ELECTIONS: AT A CROSSROAD...

The Trade Balance in 2013
BRAZIL ECONOMICS · Report · 06 Jan 2014

Brazil’s trade balance fell from US$ 19.4 billion in 2012 to only US$ 2.5 billion in 2013, with imports growing 7.4% and exports shrinking by 0.2%, influenced by the end of the cycle of rising commodity prices (Graph 1). This is the lowest trade balance since 2001. The decline in the trade balanc...

Weekly Tracker: January 5-11
TURKEY · Report · 05 Jan 2014

Executive Summary AKP and the Gulen Movement traded heavy blows during the week, with no prospects of peace in the offing. Unfortunately, Turkey seems on the road to nowhere, with the captains bickering about the course and staff. Turkey’s institutions are showing signs of lasting damage, too, wh...

Happy New Year?
PANAMA · Report · 04 Jan 2014

Three surprises (one because of its size, a second one internally provoked and the third, exogenously determined) were the relevant economic events of the final days of 2013 and the first day of 2014. Let us review them. The big jump in minimum wages for 2014-2015 Every two years, the Government ...

Ooops, Missed It Again…
TURKEY · Forecast · 03 Jan 2014

Consumer prices rose by a slightly higher than expected 0.5% in December, with the 12-month rate hence ending the year at 7.4%, above the CBRT’s latest estimate of 6.8% as well as the medium-term target (or the Holy Grail) of 5%. Compared to the same month of previous year, the behavior of food a...

Economy, “Burnt by the Sun”?
TURKEY · Report · 30 Dec 2013

Executive Summary The vulnerable mix of a high external financing requirement and a daring monetary policy experimentation has coincided with a political shock of historic proportions, leading to mayhem in Turkish markets in the last two weeks of the year. We take stock of the damage so far, and ...

Turkey’s Corruption Crisis: Is There a Way Out?
TURKEY · Report · 29 Dec 2013

Executive SummaryThe war between the erstwhile Islamist allies, AKP and the Sunni Gulen Movement, has escalated every day since it erupted onto the national scene some two weeks ago. The crisis has sprung up constitutional, diplomatic and economic angles that compel us to call the controversy the...

A Civil Cold War, Set to Escalate
UKRAINE · Forecast · 29 Dec 2013

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY “Civil cold war” is a phrase that describes the domestic situation well.The authorities keep living in a reality of their own making, assuming people will accept it, and that the protests will wane. Yet many Ukrainians don’t foresee a continuation of the status quo: that is, the...

Ending the Year Safely
INDONESIA · Report · 29 Dec 2013

Executive Summary The countdown toward 2014 has started to accelerate. It seems so far that we will leave 2013 on a satisfactory note. While at the macro level imbalances remain, at the micro level the Indonesian corporate sector continues to move briskly, albeit at a slower pace. Overall, w...

The Point Guard
PHILIPPINES · Report · 27 Dec 2013

In this, our year-end report, we print in full our conversation with Philippine Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" B. Abad, by all accounts one of the President's most trusted men. The “point guard” on budget matters, he talks about the pork barrel controversy and its possible impact on public ex...

Mortal Combat turns into Constitutional Crisis
TURKEY · In Brief · 27 Dec 2013

First let me wish our readers a Merry Christmas. Alas, Christmas was not merry for Turkey, with PM Erdogan being forced into a drastic cabinet revision, while departures from the party continued (5 so far). As I had feared, allegations of graft reached PM’s son Mr. Bilal Erdogan. This is the good...

Will Oil Price Be The Scrooge Of The Ecuadorian Economy?
ECUADOR · Report · 26 Dec 2013

Executive SummaryThe strong fall in oil prices since October 2013 and less than optimistic estimations for the future forced government officials to come up with lower GDP growth rates for 2014 and 2015. Minister of Finance Fausto Herrera placed these rates at 4% for 2014 falling back to 3.5% in ...

Future Payback from Energy Reform
MEXICO · Report · 24 Dec 2013

Executive Summary Last week the national statistics office released its report on aggregate demand for the third quarter of 2013. Demand grew 1.5% compared to the same July-September period of a year earlier (GEA had estimated a 1.6% increase). During the second quarter of 2013, demand grew 2.2%....

No Referendum on Reform
MEXICO · Report · 24 Dec 2013

Executive Summary Early last week, the necessary 17-state majority ratified the constitutional reform regarding the energy sector and last Friday, at the National Palace, President Enrique Peña Nieto signed it into law. The enactment itself is likely to produce two main types of political consequ...

(Politics Are) Hot, Hot, Hot
CENTRAL AMERICA · Report · 24 Dec 2013

Executive Summary The Costa Rican presidential race is heating up, with dark horse leftist candidate José María Villalta advancing. A Unimer poll for the daily La Nación, published in early December, gave Villalta 23.7% of the votes by voters who had made up their minds, while government candidat...

Governor on 2014 Monetary Policy: Short Term Gain, Long Term Pain?
TURKEY · In Brief · 24 Dec 2013

Governor Basci introduced the CBT's 2014 Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy report today. As far as the big picture is concerned, there are no major surprises. The Bank plans to deal with the F/X market pressures in two phases, as fas as we can see it. Phase One: Do not move rates any higher than ...