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Latest Reports

  • March 29, 2017

    Political uncertainties threaten nascent global economic recovery

    The strong momentum in the global economy in Q4 has carried over to this year, according to available economic data for Q1. Global GDP is set to expand 2.8% year-on-year in Q1, matching Q4’s result. The recovery, however, appears to be uneven as developed countries are leading most of this year’s upswing in global growth, with robust domestic demand buttressing growth in the Euro area and the United States. While the former is benefiting from strong household spending due to a declining unemployment rate and an accommodative monetary policy, growth in the United States is being propelled by gains in household wealth and a turnaround in investment as a result of a rebound in oil-drilling activity. Despite subdued private consumption, a weak yen and a pickup in global demand are fueling economic activity in Japan.

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  • April 12, 2017

    Region is expected to have returned to growth in Q1

    Uncertainty related to the potential course of U.S. trade policy and to a more challenging external scenario for Latin America has receded somewhat in the past month. Indeed, the perception of a coordinated global growth pickup seems to have gained momentum at the outset of this year. In line with a synchronized recovery in most emerging economies, the signs of recovery that began to show at the beginning of the year have also strengthened in Latin America. Our preliminary Consensus estimate suggests that the aggregate GDP for the region increased 0.2% year-on-year in Q1 2017, which, if confirmed, will mark a return to growth in Latin America, following five consecutive quarters of contraction.

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  • April 12, 2017

    Tourism, remittances and stronger global demand propel growth in Q4

    Although economic activity decelerated markedly last year, growth in Central America and the Caribbean gained some steam at the end of 2016. According to preliminary estimates, the region expanded 2.8% annually in Q4 2016, marking an acceleration from Q3’s 2.1% rise. The region’s economy is benefiting from a strengthening labor market in the United States, which is boosting all-important remittances. Rising tourist arrivals in some countries, higher commodity prices and an uptick in global demand are also spurring economic growth in Central America and the Caribbean. Q4’s growth momentum has likely carried into Q1, with our panel of analysts estimating that the region’s GDP expanded 3.0% in Q1.

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  • March 22, 2017

    Activity is strong in the face of global uncertainties

    Recent data suggest that economic dynamics in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are firming, unruffled by an uncertain global backdrop. According to estimates from FocusEconomics analysts, the region will expand 4.8% annually in Q1 2017, above Q4 2016’s 4.7% increase and the second consecutive acceleration in growth. The result, if confirmed, will mark the strongest growth since Q4 2014.

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  • March 22, 2017

    Growth remains strong in Q1 despite mounting political challenges 

    The pick-up in global demand that fueled growth in East and South Asia (ESA) at the end of 2016 appears to have continued this year. Moreover, China’s economy has entered 2017 on a strong footing, which is reverberating across the region. Against this backdrop, the economy of the ESA region is set to expand a healthy 6.1% annually in Q1, just above the 6.0% increase that our panel of analysts projected last month. On another positive note, the region’s growth in Q4 was revised upwards to 6.2% (previously projected: +6.1% year-on-year) as more comprehensive data suggests India weathered the demonetization process surprisingly well despite early signs that the economy had suffered a sizeable slowdown. That said, some analysts suspect Q4’s hefty 7.0% increase could be revised downward in subsequent releases, citing concerns about India’s GDP data accuracy.

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  • March 29, 2017

    Election season has arrived

    The Eurozone’s jam-packed 2017 election cycle is in full swing, taking center stage in market discourse. Results of the first vote in the Netherlands saw the country shrug off earlier worries that the far-right could make significant inroads as Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) lost by a sound margin. While the vote delivered a highly fragmented parliament, boding poorly for a strong and effective government, populist forces performed poorer than expected, suggesting that the threat to the Eurozone from anti-EU parties could be overblown. Overall, the country’s relations with the European Union should proceed largely as usual, reducing risks of political clashes over policy.

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  • April 5, 2017

    Investment shifts from economic drag to boost

    Economic activity is gathering modest momentum in the economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Monthly economic indicators are pointing to a pick-up in growth at the onset of 2017, after GDP expanded 2.9% over the same period of the previous year in Q4 2016. Tightening labor markets, loose monetary policy and fiscal measures are contributing to a consumption spree in the region, which is being reflected in retail sales and confidence data. Moreover, fixed investment is set for a rebound, after being hampered by lower withdrawal of EU development funds last year. FocusEconomics panelists see GDP expanding 3.1% in Q1 and picking up further in H2 of this year. 

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  • April 5, 2017

    Economy ends 2016 on positive note

    Complete data for the economy of South-Eastern Europe (SEE) shows that activity picked up in the fourth quarter, more strongly than initially estimated. GDP expanded 3.0% annually in Q4, a notable improvement from Q3’s meagre 0.5% expansion and significantly above last month’s estimated 2.0% increase. The upward revision was due to stronger-than-expected growth in Turkey, which pushed up the regional figure. Government stimulus measures enacted after the failed July coup attempt finally bore fruit and drove household spending to the best result since Q2 2015 despite a worsening labor market and political uncertainties. 

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  • April 5, 2017

    Russia’s nascent recovery and higher commodity prices bode well for the region despite ongoing challenges

    Economic growth in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) improved only mildly in 2016, after a sharp deterioration in 2015 following a continued deceleration between 2011 and 2014. The region’s GDP increased just 0.1% last year, supported by the easing of the recession in Russia and a recovery trend in most commodity prices, which led to improvements in economic activity and regional trade. At the beginning of 2017, however, things began to look up as the region’s nascent recovery persisted and economic activity seemed to pick up further in the first quarter, showing resilience to uncertainty related to another U.S. interest rate increase in March. According to an estimate produced by FocusEconomics, the region’s GDP accelerated from a 0.5% year-on-year increase in Q4 to a 1.0% expansion in Q1.

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  • April 5, 2017

    Non-oil activity enters 2017 on a strong footing

    Economic activity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) started the year on a mixed note as non-oil activities remained strong, while the oil sector deteriorated notably on the back of lower crude supply. China’s surprisingly robust start to the year and resilient domestic demand in the European Union and the United States are propping up global demand, which is reverberating positively across the MENA region. Moreover, higher oil prices are taking some pressure off the domestic financial markets, sending interest rates lower and stimulating private activity.

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  • March 22, 2017

    Uncertainty over new French president looms heavy over the region

    France keeps the foreign exchange reserves of 14 African economies in its Central Bank and is considered a key player for political stability and counterterrorism in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many French businesses also have deep roots in the continent, particularly in economic activities related to mining and crude oil exploration and extraction. The second round of the French presidential election will be held on 7 May between the two frontrunners Marine Le Pen of the National Front (FN) party and Emanuel Macron, an independent candidate. As French ties with former colonies have been close for decades, the newly elected French president’s foreign policy will have a significant impact on them. While a victory for Marine Le Pen is not analysts’ baseline scenario—which is Macron being elected and policy continuation in general—, it is not yet beyond the realm of possibility. If Le Pen wins the presidential election, she is likely to change the relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular with francophone Africa.

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