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Latest Reports

  • February 1, 2017

    The world ends 2016 on a strong footing

    The global economy accelerated in the final quarter of 2016 due to a combination of improved conditions in emerging market countries and stronger growth in developed economies. It expanded 2.7% year-on-year in Q4, above the 2.5% rise in Q3 and the strongest print in the full year. Q4’s strong reading brought total growth for 2016 to 2.6%, a notch above the 2.5% previously forecast but well below 2015’s 3.0%. Despite the deceleration in 2016, the global economy managed to navigate its way through troubled waters and perform at a still decent rate. Geopolitical risks remained high in 2016 as a result of the Brexit vote, a still-inflamed Middle East, the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil and the election of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential elections, among others. Challenging weather conditions, led by a severe El Niño weather effect, seriously damaged the agricultural sector in some countries, particularly in emerging markets.

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  • February 15, 2017

    Region ends 2016 worse than expected

    A full data breakdown shows that Latin America’s downturn last year was deeper than expected. After having virtually stagnated in 2015, the region’s economy is estimated to have contracted 0.7% in 2016 due to the combined effects of lower commodity prices and capital flight as the commodity super cycle came to an end, heightened volatility in currency markets and severe recessions in Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela caused by poor economic policy in the past.

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  • February 15, 2017

    Economic growth decelerates in 2016

    Central America and the Caribbean managed to accelerate timidly in the second half of 2016 supported by improving dynamics in the U.S., which translated into higher remittances and exports, and the recovery in commodities prices. Overall, however, in the full year 2016, growth in the region decelerated to 3.0% from 3.3% in 2015, according to preliminary estimates. Moreover, despite the improving momentum in the second half, clouds are now gathering on the horizon. U.S. President Donald Trump is delivering on his campaign promises to strengthen migration controls. Although no countries in the region are yet affected by Trump’s restrictive policies, there is growing concern that a tougher stance on migration policies in the region could negatively affect all-important remittance flows from the U.S. Moreover, faster-than-expected growth in the U.S. could prompt the Fed to tighten its monetary policy more quickly than previously anticipated, which could fuel volatility in the region’s financial and exchange rate markets.

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  • January 25, 2017

    Growth unfazed by headwinds in 2016

    Growth in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) moderated in the final quarter of 2016, according to a preliminary set of data. The economy expanded 4.7% annually, a notch down from Q3’s 4.8% increase. Growth for the whole year came in at 4.7% in 2016, a slight pick-up from 2015’s 4.5%. 2016 was a tumultuous year for the ASEAN region—as well the world—in terms of political events, and financial markets experienced heightened volatility in the final quarter due to the U.S. election. Yet growth in the ASEAN economy has remained on track, despite the backdrop of weak external demand, political events in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, and swings in financial markets.

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  • January 25, 2017

    Regional growth remains stable in Q4 on resilient dynamics in China

    The economic performance in East and South Asia (ESA) remained stable in Q4 on the back of stronger-than-expected growth in China. According to preliminary estimates from FocusEconomics analysts, the region expanded 6.1% annually in Q4, matching the result in the previous four quarters and slightly exceeding the 6.0% rise that our panel of analysts had expected last month. This brought full-year growth to 6.1% in 2016, which was slightly down from 2015’s 6.3% rise and the weakest growth since 2001. The FocusEconomics panel expects the region to start the year on a similar note to how 2016 ended, with growth steady at 6.1% in the first quarter, before entering a soft downward trajectory.

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  • February 1, 2017

    Political clouds can’t rain on economy’s parade 

    Recent data suggest that the Eurozone economy ended 2016 on a bright note, despite it being a rollercoaster of a year in terms of political developments. GDP growth picked up to 0.5% in the fourth quarter, after coming in at 0.3% in the previous two quarters. Rising populism, Brexit and terrorist attacks, on top of other political events, have been unable to dent the economy’s momentum and economic sentiment in the bloc remains at a multi-year high.  

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  • February 8, 2017

    Growth slows to three-year low in 2016

    Preliminary data for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) show that the region’s economy lost steam last year. GDP expanded 2.9%, down from 2015’s 3.6% and the worst result seen since 2013. A notable contraction in fixed investment, which recorded the largest drop since 2009, and a weak external environment were behind the downturn. Mirroring the region, growth slumped to a three-year low in Poland, the region’s largest economy, as booming household consumption failed to compensate for a plunge in investment. 

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  • February 8, 2017

    SEE growth dynamics end year on weak footing after economy plummets in Q3 on Turkish contraction 

    A full set of data confirmed that the economy of the South-Eastern Europe (SEE) region barely grew in the third quarter of last year. GDP expanded just 0.1% on an annual basis, which marked a significant deceleration from the 3.8% increase seen in the previous quarter and the slowest reading in nearly four years. The subdued result was primarily due to a contraction in the Turkish economy, where GDP dropped 1.8% year-on-year. The decrease in Turkey’s GDP was the first in seven years and broadly reflected the consequences of heightened political unrest and the systematic weakening of the lira. Decelerations were also recorded in Bulgaria and Romania as weak external sectors and decelerations in fixed investment due to a slower absorption of EU funds took a toll on growth. Estimates for the final quarter of 2016 show that growth dynamics continued to be weak, even if the economy likely improved from the frail expansion recorded in Q3.

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  • February 8, 2017

    Regional economy bottoms out in 2016

    The economy of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) unexpectedly managed to return to growth in 2016, albeit increasing only 0.1%. This was mainly due to the strengthening of the Russian economy toward the end of the year, which accounts for 70% of regional GDP. A combination of stabilizing commodity prices and reduced geopolitical tensions—particularly between Russia and Ukraine—also supported exchange rates and improved overall confidence in the CIS region.

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  • February 8, 2017

    Trump’s measures threaten to destabilize region

    Although recent data corroborate that economic activity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) accelerated slightly in 2016, it also revealed that faster regional growth was mostly due to economic improvements in a limited number of countries rather than broad-based progress. According to our estimates, the region’s aggregate GDP expanded 2.8% in 2016, up from 2015’s 2.7% growth. The region mostly benefited from a better political and economic situation in Iraq as the government was able to regain control of large swaths of land in the hands of the Islamic State. As a result, Iraq is expected to have emerged from recession in 2016. Meanwhile, Iran’s reintegration into the global economy propelled growth in the Persian country to a six-year high. The positive effects of the opening of Iran’s economy, however, are not yet being felt across the region due to ongoing political rifts between Iran and Saudi Arabia and a still challenging business environment in the country. Israel also closed 2016 on a strong note due to an accommodative monetary policy, a low unemployment rate and strong private spending.

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  • January 25, 2017

    SSA faces political and economic hurdles this year

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