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Latest Reports

  • May 3, 2017

    Global economic recovery consolidates as politics head the agenda 

    Recent data corroborate early signals that the global economy started 2017 on a solid footing. Global GDP likely expanded 2.8% annually in Q1, matching Q4’s result, according to the data available. The underlying economic story remains largely the same, with the emerging markets gradually recovering on the back of a pick-up in global demand and higher commodity prices, while advanced economies are generally benefiting from resilient domestic demand. That said, Q1 data has brought some surprises, as growth in China was stronger than previously anticipated but dynamics in the United States softened. The UK’s strong resilience observed since last year’s referendum is starting to fade as consumers are feeling the pinch of weak wage growth and high inflation. As a result, GDP growth slowed to a one-year low in Q1.

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  • May 17, 2017

    Structural weaknesses are slowing the economic recovery

    Preliminary economic data for Q1 shows that the Latin American economy emerged from recession in Q1 and recorded positive growth for the first time in nearly two years. Our Consensus estimate suggests that the aggregate GDP for the region increased 0.3% year-on-year in Q1 2017 (Q4 2016: -0.4% yoy), which was a notch above the 0.2% expansion that our panel of analysts had projected last month. With GDP data for Q1 still outstanding for most countries in the region, an initial estimate for Mexico shows that the economy defied fears of a hard landing. Q1 GDP in Mexico accelerated to a six-quarter high as the economy benefited from higher remittances from the United States, stronger global growth and a weak currency.

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  • May 17, 2017

    Growth to pick up in Q1 despite trouble looming ahead 

    According to a comprehensive set of data, the economy of Central America and the Caribbean gained some traction in the final quarter of last year. The region expanded 2.8% over the same quarter of 2015, a marked acceleration compared to Q3’s 2.1% increase but still the second weakest reading since Q1 2013. Although softness in economic activity seems to have persisted somewhat in Q1—GDP is estimated to have only grown 3.0% in the first quarter—some incipient signs that the region’s economy bottomed out last year are encouraging. The U.S. labor market, which is nearing full employment, is fueling double-digit growth in remittances across the region. Higher commodity prices, a booming tourism sector in some countries and a pick-up in global trade flows are all further buttressing the region’s economy.

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  • May 24, 2017

    Growth firms in Q1

    The economy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) accelerated at the start of the year, according to a FocusEconomics estimate. Regional GDP expanded 4.8% annually, up from Q4 2016’s 4.7% increase and a notch above last month’s preliminary estimate. The result is good news for the region and suggests that prospects are beginning to improve. Growth had previously failed to gain steam and had hovered around 4.6% since 2014, as activity was healthy but unimpressive overall. 

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  • May 24, 2017

    Growth in ESA shoots up in Q1 on strong external demand and investment

    Comprehensive Q1 data for East and South Asia (ESA) showed that growth momentum strengthened in the first three months of the year due to strong global demand and investment. Our Consensus estimate suggests that the aggregate GDP for the region increased 6.3% year-on-year in Q1 2017 (Q4 2016: +6.2% yoy), which was a notch above the 6.2% expansion that our panel of analysts had projected last month. On top of China’s acceleration, economic dynamics improved in Hong Kong and Korea, while growth softened in Taiwan. Meanwhile, growth in India likely moderated in the January-March period.

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  • May 3, 2017

    Economy charges into Q2

    Growth continues to show signs of broadening as the Eurozone’s recovery benefits from strengthening internal and external demand. A firming labor market and a brighter global growth environment are supporting sentiment within the bloc, which came in at a level not seen since 2007 in April. Moreover, other economic indicators continue to record positive readings, highlighted by the composite PMI’s six-year high in April.

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  • May 10, 2017

    Growth rises at the start of 2017

    Preliminary data for the first quarter of 2017 showed that the economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) gained steam at the start of 2017. GDP expanded 3.3% over the same period of the previous year in Q1, above the 2.8% increase recorded in Q4 2016 and the best result in nearly one year. Lithuania’s economy grew at the fastest pace since Q2 2014, likely on the back of strong domestic demand thanks to wage increases and strong credit growth. In addition, GDP growth in Latvia accelerated.

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  • May 10, 2017

    Regional momentum dwindles in Q1 amid increased political noise

    A comprehensive set of data for the final quarter of the year showed that growth in the South-Eastern Europe (SEE) region regained some of the momentum lost following Q3’s meagre performance. Building on a firmer footing in the last three months of 2016, growth in the region for the full year was 2.8%. This, however, still marked the weakest reading in four years and a notable deceleration from 2015’s 4.4% expansion. Swings in economic growth in H2 2016 were largely attributable to Turkey which, having contracted markedly in Q3, rebounded in the fourth quarter as public counter-cyclical measures bore fruit. Elsewhere in the region, Greece stumbled into contractionary territory in Q4 after growing strongly in the previous quarter, while Romania continued to expand robustly on the heels of soaring private spending.

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  • May 10, 2017

    Region set for better growth in Q1

    More complete data showed that the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) ended 2016 on a stronger note than previously expected. The region’s GDP grew 0.6% over the same period of 2015 in Q4, a solid rebound from the third quarter’s 0.2% contraction and the best result since Q4 2014. The recovery was driven primarily by a rebound in Russia’s economy and firming activity in Kazakhstan. Despite the uptick at the end of the year, overall 2016 was a difficult year for the CIS region. Low oil prices and weak external demand put a lid on growth in the region and strained a number of currencies and government balances.

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  • May 10, 2017

    Regional vulnerabilities threaten strong dynamism in non-oil sector 

    While official data for Q1 is still outstanding, high-frequency economic indicators corroborate that non-oil economic activity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) started the year on a solid note. According to preliminary estimates, the region’s aggregate GDP expanded 2.5% year-on-year in Q1, which is below the 3.0% growth in Q4.

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  • May 24, 2017

    Strong recovery is elusive at start of 2017 

    Incoming data for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) shows that the economy is struggling to recover from a dismal 2016. Last year, regional GDP expanded at the weakest pace since 1993, amid deteriorations in the region’s largest economies Angola, Nigeria and South Africa. Low prices for commodities dampened activity and amplified financial constraints, worsening economic imbalances in many countries. While activity began to recover at the end of the year—largely due to a rise in commodity prices—growth still remained weak and came in at 1.5% annually in Q4 (Q3 2016: +1.3% year-on-year). 

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