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Latest Reports

  • May 4, 2016

    Global economic activity stabilizes at the end of Q1

    The global economy grew at its slowest pace in almost three years in Q1 as weaknesses that plagued emerging markets last year are far from abating and dynamics among developed countries remain weak. According to preliminary data that account for around 60% of the world’s nominal GDP, the global economy expanded 2.5% annually in Q1, which was below the 2.6% expansion tallied in Q4. Results of note in Q1 include stable year-on-year growth in the United States as income gains from low gasoline prices were offset by worsening investment and a strong dollar. Annual growth in the Eurozone was also stable likely due to robust domestic demand. Despite a challenging start to the year due to heightened volatility in global financial markets, bold policy support allowed China to only decelerate marginally.

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  • May 18, 2016

    Weakness persisted in Q1, but external environment is more supportive in Q2

    Latin America’s economy continued to struggle at the beginning of the year within a context of subdued global demand related to a gradual transition in the world’s economy. Last year, the region’s economic activity cooled rapidly in the second half of the year. It began to deteriorate in Q3 2015 as GDP decreased 0.3% on an annual basis and more complete data show that the region’s economic contraction deepened further in the final quarter of the year. The economy fell 1.3% year-on-year in Q4, which represented the sharpest contraction that the region has seen in six years.

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  • May 18, 2016

    Regional economy decelerates markedly in Q4 2015

    According to a more complete set of data, the economy of Central America and the Caribbean decelerated in the final quarter of 2015. GDP expanded 2.9% over the same quarter of 2014, which was down from the previous quarter’s increase. However, despite Q4’s deceleration, the economy accelerated and expanded 3.3% in the full year 2015. Looking at the countries individually, in the fourth quarter, the economy of Dominican Republic decelerated markedly due to a disappointing performance of the industrial sector. Moreover, slowdowns were recorded in the economies of Guatemala and Costa Rica, with the latter expanding at the softest pace in three quarters. According to a preliminary estimate, in the first quarter of 2016, the economy of the Dominican Republic stalled, expanding at the previous quarter’s 6.1% increase.

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  • May 25, 2016

    Growth steady in Q1   

    A complete set of data reveal that growth in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) remained steady in the first quarter of 2016. GDP expanded 4.6% annually in Q1, which was just a notch above the preliminary estimate and matched Q4 2015’s result. The reading partly reflects that accelerations in Thailand and the Philippines’ economies, were offset by slower growth in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam

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  • May 25, 2016

    Fading stimulus in China, weak global demand and mounting domestic challenges will hinder growth in ESA 

    Government-led stimulus in China helped to shore up economic growth in the final months of Q1 in East and South Asia (ESA). However, overall growth for the quarter, was hit by strong headwinds at the outset of the year and mounting troubles in some countries. The region’s annual expansion was 6.1% in the three months up to March (Q4: +6.1% year-on-year), according to a more complete set of data. Most of the economies in the region experienced a deterioration in Q1, including China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan. Weak global demand continued to drag on economic activity in Korea and Taiwan, while lower tourist arrivals are severely hurting activity in Hong Kong. India is the main bright spot in the region due to strong public investment and robust urban consumption. That said, analysts remain skeptical about the accuracy of the new GDP series.

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  • May 4, 2016

    Eurozone economy starts 2016 on high note

    Despite heightened uncertainty at the start of 2016, amid volatile financial markets and rising concern over the slowdown in China, the Eurozone economy began the year on a high note and picked up pace notably in Q1. According to a new, timelier, preliminary estimate, the economy grew a seasonally-adjusted 0.6% in Q1 over the previous quarter, which was double the pace of Q4’s growth. Although a breakdown by components is not yet available, leading indicators suggest that the domestic healing, which has driven the recovery so far, likely firmed up in the first quarter. An improving labor market, low energy prices and easy monetary policy are expected to have fueled consumption, while the external sector is likely to have remained a drag on growth.    

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  • May 11, 2016

    CEE economy likely lost steam in Q1

    Despite strong external headwinds, the economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) picked up pace in the last quarter of 2015 on the back of solid growth in domestic drivers. More complete data show that regional GDP growth accelerated from 3.4% in Q3 over the same period of the previous year to 3.7% in Q4. While many of the conditions that drove last year’s growth—improving labor markets, lack of inflationary pressures and supportive monetary policies—remain in place, the latest indicators suggest that region’s economy lost steam at the start of 2016 and FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that GDP growth decelerated to 3.1% in Q1.  

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  • May 11, 2016

    SEE economy decelerates in Q1 amid domestic headwinds

    In the last quarter of 2015, growth in the South-Eastern Europe (SEE) region accelerated markedly and the economy expanded at the fastest pace in nearly five years. As a result, for the full year 2015, the region grew 3.0%, which was the best result in five years. Last year’s acceleration came mainly on the back of an improvement in Turkey’s economy, which expanded at a significant 4.0% due to robust domestic demand. Elsewhere in the region, accelerations were recorded in the economies of Romania and Serbia. Conversely, the Greek economy swung to contraction last year after having expanded for the first time in seven years in 2014. 

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  • May 11, 2016

    Commonwealth’s economy battered by external shocks

    Economic activity in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) deteriorated substantially in 2015, owing to a combination of factors. Among these were the massive and sustained decline in commodities prices, wide-ranging spillovers from Russia’s recession, as well as the slowdown and rebalancing of China’s economy. An aggregate GDP estimate elaborated by FocusEconomics showed that the region’s GDP growth deteriorated from a 2.8% year-on-year contraction in Q3 to a 3.0% decrease in Q4. In 2015 as a whole, the economy of the Commonwealth took a hard hit and contracted 2.6%, which contrasted a five-year period in which the region grew by, on average, 3.3%. The last time the Commonwealth experienced an economic downturn was in 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis. Although currency depreciation—and in some cases devaluation—and fiscal easing have helped to mitigate the impact of the aforementioned external shocks, inflation shot up and vulnerabilities in the financial sector increased, which were, in some cases, exacerbated by uncertainty in the economic policy.

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  • May 25, 2016

    Growth in SSA economy remains subdued 

    Growth in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region slowed in the fourth quarter of last year and GDP expanded 3.0% on an annual basis. As a consequence, the region grew 3.5% in the full year 2015, which was well down from the 5.1% increase tallied in the previous year. Last year’s deceleration was due to a slowdown in nearly all the economies in the region. In particular, growth in Nigeria and South Africa—the region’s two biggest economies—faltered and the countries expanded 2.7% and 1.3%, respectively.

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