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Latest Reports

  • July 28, 2015

    Global growth stabilizes in Q2

    In the second quarter, the global economy maintained the same pace of growth as in the previous two periods. Stronger economic dynamics in advanced economies continued to compensate for weaker activity in the emerging market economies. According to preliminary estimates, the global economy expanded 2.6% annually in Q2, which was in line with the results tallied in Q1 (previously reported: +2.5% year-on-year) and in Q4. Growth in developed nations was underpinned by healthy dynamics in the Eurozone as the economic recovery continues to gain traction. Japan also contributed positively to global growth due to steady gains in wages and renewed business confidence. Among the major developing economies, while growth in both China and India was broadly stable in Q2, economic conditions remained soft in Brazil and Russia.

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  • August 12, 2015

    Growth to remain weak in H2, major currencies fall to fresh lows   

    Latin America’s economy decelerated considerably in the first half of the year. Economic growth was dragged down by deteriorating conditions in Brazil and Venezuela and sluggish performance in the rest of the economies in the region. A GDP growth estimate elaborated by LatinFocus showed that Latin America slowed from a 0.8% annual expansion in the fourth quarter of 2014 to a tepid 0.1% increase in the first three months of 2015. Moreover, the region’s growth dynamics for the second quarter are not encouraging. According to the LatinFocus estimate, the region’s economy is expected to have expanded just 0.1% in Q2. Despite having been supported by a mild improvement in the majority of the economies, growth in the region was weighed down by the recession in Brazil and Venezuela’s depressed economy.

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  • August 12, 2015

    Regional growth likely to moderate pace in H2; Puerto Rico enters default

    A gradual recovery in the U.S. economy and persistently low oil prices provided favorable tailwinds to the economy of Central America and the Caribbean in the first half of 2015. Although these favorable conditions are expected to remain in place in the second half of the year, the region is expected to grow at a more moderate pace, mainly due to supply constraints, harsher business conditions as well as weak security and governance. Going forward, although changes in monetary policy in the United States could lead to a new period of volatility in global financial markets, the Central America and Caribbean region is well positioned to manage the associated risks.

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  • August 26, 2015

    Economic activity moderates in Q2 as the region is hit by weak demand from China

    Growth in the East and South Asia (ESA) region decelerated slightly in the second quarter according to a preliminary set of data. GDP expanded 6.3% annually in Q2, which was below the 6.4% increase tallied in Q1. Despite the still-robust growth observed in China in Q2, weaker demand from the world’s second largest economy is dampening growth across the region. In Taiwan, the economy posted the mildest acceleration in three years in Q2, while Mongolia slowed to a multi-year low in the same period. In Korea, along with China’s softer demand from overseas, the country had to deal with the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

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  • July 28, 2015

    Eurozone economy is still resilient, Greece is not out of the woods yet

    Uncertainty in relation to Greece caused a great deal of negative news for the Eurozone in the second quarter, but data suggest that economic growth in the common-currency block was resilient in the period. Although industrial production decreased in May—mainly due to the volatile electricity sector—manufacturing production picked up pace, with output of both durable consumer goods and capital goods showing a notable increase over the previous month. In terms of labor market developments, the number of people unemployed in the Eurozone continued to fall in May, maintaining the unemployment rate at 11.1%, which is the lowest level that has been registered in three years. An important point to underline is the large dichotomy in labor market dynamics that still persists among some Eurozone economies. While the harmonized unemployment rate in Germany, Malta and Luxembourg are at just 4.7%, 5.6% and 5.7%, respectively, in Greece (25.6%, April data), Spain (22.5%) and Cyprus (16.0%) it remains well above the regional average. That said, the latest leading indicators are showing the first signs of the impact of the Greek crisis: the economic sentiment indicator took a mild hit and fell in June, and the flash composite PMI declined in July after the indicator had climbed to a four-year high in June.

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  • August 5, 2015

    Region’s growth slows in Q2 after gaining speed in Q1

    The majority of economies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) began this year growing at a remarkable rhythm as they were starting to benefit from the nascent recovery in the Eurozone. According to a GDP growth estimate for the region, the economy of Central and Eastern Europe increased at a rate of 3.4% in the first quarter, which marked a notable acceleration compared to the 2.6% rise observed in the last quarter of 2014. Growth was propelled by a substantial increase in economic growth in the Czech Republic and Romania, as well as by positive impulses from the economies of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. However, the region’s growth dynamics in Q2 suggest a slowdown. CEE’s economy is expected to have been dragged down by a deceleration in the same economies that grew fastest in Q1. The Czech Republic and Romania are now expected to have slowed down in Q2, while the economies of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia likely either saw the pace of growth moderating or remaining similar to the previous three-month period.

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  • August 5, 2015

    South-Eastern Europe’s economy sustains growth momentum in Q1

    The economy in South-Eastern Europe (SEE) stabilized at the outset of the year as weaker growth momentum in Greece and Turkey was compensated for stronger dynamics in most of the other economies. Overall, the region’s economy showed considerable resilience as the majority of the SEE countries benefited from low oil and energy prices as well as from the gradual economic recovery in the Eurozone. A GDP growth estimate for the region showed that the economy increased 2.0% year-on-year in Q1, which matched the expansion seen in Q4 2014.

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  • August 5, 2015

    CIS economy contracts in Q1 and recession worsens in Q2 

    The majority of economies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have been hit hard by the worsening economic conditions in Russia. The beginning of the recession in Russia in Q1 had a substantial impact on the region, since many of the economies that are members of the Commonwealth have strong links with Russian through trade, financial services and important flows of remittances. The economies of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are heavily dependent on oil for both exports and fiscal revenues, while the CIS currencies also felt the high volatility that many emerging market currencies experienced at the beginning of 2015. Lower oil prices and heightened uncertainty regarding Russia’s economic situation prompted monetary policy makers in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to devalue their respective currencies.

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  • August 5, 2015

    Iran reaches nuclear deal with international powers; oil prices plunge in July

    After 20 months of tough negotiations, on 14 July, representatives of Iran and the P5+1 group (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany) reached a landmark agreement aimed at reigning in the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. Now the U.S. Congress has until mid-September to review the deal. Although the U.S. Congress is expected to not approve the pact, it does not have enough support to override a presidential veto in a second vote, as both chambers would need a two-thirds majority to do so. President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any attempt to undermine the nuclear deal.

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  • August 26, 2015

    Low commodity prices and financial instability continue to weigh on regional growth

    After decelerating notably in Q1, growth in the Sub-Saharan Africa region is expected to remain weak throughout this year. Falling commodity prices, rising fiscal constraints and turbulence in the financial and foreign-exchange markets are likely to negatively impact the region’s economic performance. Commodity-export-driven nations will feel the brunt of the pain as low prices for raw materials are exacerbating pressures on their budgets and current accounts. Moreover, increasing scarcity of hard currency in the region and the expected normalization of interest rates in the United States will likely contribute to the instability in the financial markets and add further pressure on many currencies.                                

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