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Latest Reports

  • July 1, 2015

    Global growth to accelerate in Q2

    Although the global economy hit a soft patch in Q1, recent indicators suggest that growth gained momentum in Q2. According to a more complete set of data, the global economy expanded 2.5% annually in Q1, which was slightly up from the 2.4% increase projected last month. For Q2, our panel of analysts expect growth to have reached 2.6% in annual terms. The main driver behind Q2’s result was again healthy dynamics in the advanced economies. Growth in the Eurozone is expected to have accelerated in Q2 as economic recovery continued to gain traction. In Japan, growth is likely to have rebounded in Q2, partially reflecting a low base of comparison from last year due to the sales tax hike implemented in April 2014. Meanwhile, the ongoing slowdown in China, coupled with a weak macroeconomic picture for Brazil and Russia, are expected to take a toll in the emerging market economies.

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  • June 17, 2015

    Deterioration in Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela will cause region to contract in Q1

    After showing moderate growth in the second half of 2014, Latin America’s economy is gradually entering into recession at the outset of the year. The region’s GDP growth rose mildly from 0.5% in Q3 2014 to 0.7% in Q4 2014 and now is estimated to have contracted 0.5% in Q1. The expected fall in the growth rate stems from an economic contraction in Argentina, a deepening of Brazil’s decline and a disastrous plunge in Venezuela. Data showed that Brazil’s GDP decreased 1.6% annually in Q1 (Q4: -0.2% year-on-year), while Argentina’s economy is expected to have contracted 0.2% in Q1. Although Venezuela has not released official data since Q3 2014, analysts estimate that the crisis-hit economy is expected to have plummeted 6.8% in Q1. Moreover, recent economic data showed that Mexico’s GDP growth fell from 2.7% in Q4 to 2.5% Q1, which mainly reflected the impact of a sharp deceleration in the U.S. economy.

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  • June 17, 2015

    Economic activity in the region starts the year with subdued growth

    The majority of economies in Central America and the Caribbean expanded at the start of the year, although growth appears to be moderating compared to last year. Subdued economic growth in the first quarter of the year reflected a combination of factors. Among these factors are the sharp deceleration observed in the U.S. economy in the first quarter, lower commodity prices and a challenging business environment. The exception was the Dominican Republic and Panama, whose economies maintained virtually the same pace of expansion as in Q4 2014 in the first three-month period of the year.

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  • June 25, 2015

    Economic conditions remain soft in Q2

    Although economic dynamics in the ex-Japan Asia region were stable in Q1, with GDP expanding at the previous quarter’s annual rate of 6.2%, growth came in slightly below the 6.3% increase expected last month. In fact, most of the economies in the region fared worse compared to the previous quarter in Q1, including the region’s driving force China. Only India, Singapore and Thailand accelerated in the January–March period. That said, the nature of the improvement in the three countries differed noticeably. While growth in India and Singapore quickened on the back of stronger private consumption and a positive contribution from the external sector, in Thailand, the acceleration mostly reflected a low base of comparison from last year due to the political unrest ahead of the May 2014 military coup.

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  • July 1, 2015

    Economy emerges strongly in H1, but worsening Greek crisis may weigh on growth

    More detailed data confirmed that the Eurozone economy picked up pace in Q1, expanding 0.4% over the previous quarter. Growth was mainly supported by stronger domestic demand, especially from an improvement in private consumption and an acceleration in gross fixed investment. The majority of analysts agree that the combination of cheap oil, a weak euro and the European Central Bank’s more aggressive monetary policy helped prop up the Eurozone economy at the beginning of the year. Furthermore, recent data have shown that there were more clear signs that the Eurozone’s recovery remained firmly entrenched in the second quarter. Industrial production grew just 0.1% over the previous month in April; this mild result did, however, mark a rebound over March’s 0.4% contraction. Also in April, the number of unemployed in the common-currency area dropped, thus bringing the unemployment rate down to the lowest level in three years. On top of that, the composite PMI advanced to a four-year high in June, suggesting that economic activity gained traction in the second quarter. However, a drop in economic sentiment in June is an early sign that the Greek debt crisis is likely to weigh on the Eurozone’s economic growth in the coming months.

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  • June 10, 2015

    Economy skirts contraction in Q1, deterioration in Ukraine continues

    Preliminary data show that the majority of the Eastern European economies kicked off the year on a positive note and grew at a healthy pace in the first quarter of the year. The Czech Republic and Romania led the pack, growing 4.2% and 4.3% year-on-year, respectively. The economies of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia also accelerated, showing growth rates of between 2% and 4% in the first quarter. Croatia’s economy grew just 0.5% in Q1, yet this did represent a mild acceleration over the 0.2% expansion observed in Q4 2014. Conversely, all three Baltic economies registered more moderate growth in Q1 as they are feeling the impact of deteriorating economic conditions in Russia and the effects of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In Turkey, although GDP data are yet to be released, additional economic indicators pointed to a deceleration in Q1. 

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  • June 10, 2015

    OPEC decides to keep quotas intact

    The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) decided to maintain its official production target of 30 million barrels per day at its 5 June meeting. OPEC made this decision in the aim of maintaining its market share and squeezing out high-cost producers, particularly the United States’ shale oil industry. Furthermore, the OPEC meeting confirms the predominant influence of Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council members in the cartel. Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all defend the current production level, although this means continued low oil prices. These countries can cope with the existing low oil price environment due to their sound fiscal positions. On the other hand, Algeria, Iran and Venezuela lead the countries that are in favour of reducing oil production in order to boost oil prices and increase badly-needed revenues. 

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  • June 25, 2015

    Sub-Saharan African countries facing diverging trends in 2015

    The Sub-Saharan Africa region had been performing relatively well since the aftermath of the global financial crisis, but growth is expected to moderate this year. In the previous years, the main growth engines were strong mining and infrastructure investment, resilient private consumption and a robust external sector, mainly driven by commodity exports to China. However, the decline in oil and other commodity prices since mid-2014, coupled with the slowdown in China, has put a dent in the region’s external dynamics. Moreover, a strong U.S. dollar and the expected normalization of interest rates in the United States have driven a depreciation in many currencies in the region, thereby adding further pressure on the country’s external and fiscal positions. Rising political tensions in some countries have also played a role in the deterioration of the regional outlook. 

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