FocusEconomics Insights - Latest Posts
June 23, 2021
The 15–16 May constitutional convention election threw up a major surprise, with independent candidates winning a large share of the vote, and the right-wing coalition failing to obtain the one third of seats needed to form a blocking minority. Delegates now have a maximum of 12 months to draw up a new constitution, which could shift the country towards a profoundly different socioeconomic model. To examine the implications of the vote, and the outlook for Chile’s economy going forward, we spoke to Alejandro Fernández Beroš, chief economist at Gemines, Guillermo Le Fort Varela, CEO of Le Fort Economía y Finanzas, and Nathan Pincheira Guzmán, chief economist at Fynsa.
- Alejandro Fernández Beroš has been chief economist at Gemines since 1993. He is in charge of macroeconomic projections and carries out the political analysis associated with the authorities’ decisions that have an impact on the economy.
- Guillermo Le Fort Varela is CEO of Le Fort Economía y Finanzas, and is also a professor at the Universidad de Chile and president of the Center of Studies for Democracy and Development. He has a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
- Nathan Pincheira Guzman has been chief economist at Fynsa since 2017, and before that worked for Banchile Inversiones. He holds degrees from the Universidad de Chile.
China’s demographic headache: How changing population dynamics will affect the Asian giant’s economy in the years ahead
June 9, 2021
China’s recent census data shows that the population is ageing fast, and will likely start declining within a few years. We examine the implications for China’s economy, and the country’s place on the world stage.
May 31, 2021
On 1 February, Myanmar’s military seized power and detained several government leaders, triggering domestic and international backlash and sending the economy into a tailspin. Although the reporting of official data has stopped since the takeover, secondary sources point to paralyzed government activity, closing firms, a frozen banking sector, collapsing new business registrations and rising prices. Meanwhile, Western countries condemned the coup, imposing sanctions, while regional peers have opted for a less confrontational approach. To examine the country’s outlook in more depth, we spoke to Jason Yek, senior country risk analyst at Fitch Solutions, and Tom Anderson, economist at Mekong Economics.
Jason Yek is a senior country risk analyst who joined Fitch Solutions in 2017. He is the lead analyst for more than half a dozen emerging and frontier markets combined in the Mekong region and South Asia, including India and Vietnam.
Tom Anderson is an economist at Mekong Economics in Yangon. Headquartered in Hanoi, Mekong Economics is a leading economic and socio-economic development and commercial consulting firm active in the Greater Mekong sub-region and Asia-Pacific region.
May 26, 2021
100 years ago, the economies of Argentina and Canada had much in common. Fast forward to today, and the similarities are much less evident. Over the past century, Canada has successfully transitioned into a high-income nation, while Argentina has struggled to remain internationally competitive. The reasons for such a divergence in fortunes are complex and manifold, and form part of a process spanning many decades. But three factors stand out: Human capital levels, institutional solidity and economic openness.
May 13, 2021
Following two global crises in quick succession, public debt-to-GDP ratios in many countries are now at multi-decade highs, and our panelists see no progress on reducing global public debt levels over our forecast horizon. Should we be concerned?
May 3, 2021
On 1 January, African countries opened their markets under the first phase of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), consenting to lower tariffs on 90% of products over the next five to ten years. As such, SSA countries are expected to benefit from a reduction of trading restrictions, likely boosting merchandise exports and improving regional value chains. Moreover, the deal should accelerate regional economic growth and productivity, lifting employment, while it should also boost business sentiment and attract investment. However, many countries are yet to ratify the deal, and several aspects are still being hammered out, including protocols on competition policy and intellectual property rights. Moreover, poor infrastructure, bureaucratic barriers, security issues and social unrest represent key risks to implementation.
April 16, 2021
Turkey’s economy has endured a tumultuous few weeks, with the abrupt sacking of Central Bank Governor Naci Agbal sending the lira tumbling amid the specter of premature policy easing, spiking inflation and rising external debt servicing costs, in what would be a repeat of the events of the last few years. This has generated elevated uncertainty and thrown doubt on a hitherto positive economic outlook for 2021. To delve deeper into what is in store for Turkey’s economy, we spoke to Dennis Shen, director at Scope Ratings, and Cristian Maggio, head of portfolio strategy at TD Securities.
April 12, 2021
In recent decades, Chile’s economy has transformed into one of the continent’s wealthiest in GDP per capita terms. However, dissatisfaction is rife over yawning income inequality and the high cost of living, citizens’ trust in institutions has been eroded, and anger at political elites runs deep. This year will see general elections and work begin on a new constitution: The societal model that emerges from the current period of political flux will be key to the longer-term economic outlook.
April 7, 2021
“As violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man”: This is how former U.S. President Ronald Reagan described high inflation, which marked the early part of his presidency in the 1980s.
Reagan’s remark captured the political zeitgeist. The developed world still bore the psychological scars of the “stagflation” of the previous decade, categorized by sluggish growth and high prices. Economists were increasingly questioning the basic tenets of the Keynesian demand-management model which had governed policymaking since the end of WW2. And monetarism—a radical new theory which emphasized the importance of controlling the supply of money in order to get a grip on inflation—was gaining devotees.
March 25, 2021
GDP per capita—while certainly an imperfect measure—is a useful proxy for measuring a country’s standard of living. We decided to update our popular article and take another look at our forecasts for the 132 countries we cover to see which will have the highest GDP per capita in 2025. The projections are Consensus Forecasts based on the individual forecasts of over 1000 world renowned investment banks, economic think tanks and professional economic forecasting firms. Small European nations dominate the ranking, thanks to their extremely robust institutions, stable policy environments and high-performing education systems, with the United States and Singapore rounding out the top seven.
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