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Latest Reports

  • June 1, 2016

    Global growth set to recover in H2

    A more complete set of data corroborates that the global economy grew at its slowest pace in almost three years in Q1 due to rising volatility at the outset of the year. Global GDP expanded 2.5% annually, which matched last month’s estimate and was a notch below the 2.6% rise tallied in Q4. Although growth remained weak in the first three months of 2016, a more detailed analysis suggests that global economic activity is bottoming out and that it will likely accelerate in the second half of the year. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the global economy to expand at Q1’s pace of 2.5% in Q2 before accelerating to a 2.6% rise in Q3 and 2.8% increase in Q4.

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  • June 15, 2016

    Latin America’s recession masks contrasting realities

    Latin America remains trapped in recession. Economic weakness persisted at the beginning of the year following two consecutive periods in which the economy contracted in the third and fourth quarters of 2015—the sharpest fall in six years was registered in Q4. The region’s aggregate GDP is estimated to have decreased 1.2% year-on-year in the first quarter, which continues to suggest overall weakness in the region. However, this data mask the fact that some economies within Latin America are managing the region’s recession better than others and are growing, while others are facing a severe economic deterioration.

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  • June 15, 2016

    Regional economic growth remains broadly stable in Q1

    The economy of the Central American and the Caribbean region accelerated last year on the back of an improvement in the U.S. economy, which positively affected the region’s trade and tourism sectors. Moreover, last year, private consumption benefited from an increase in real income amid falling inflation. GDP expanded 3.3%, which was up from the 3.0% increase tallied in 2014. Low oil prices coupled with high demand from the U.S. helped the economies of El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua to accelerate last year. Moreover, the Dominican Republic was the fastest-growing economy in the region in 2015 and expanded at a robust rate. Conversely, adverse weather conditions took a toll on growth in Belize and Haiti.

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  • June 22, 2016

    Growth steady in Q1; external headwinds likely to persist going forward  

    Growth in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held up in the first quarter of 2016, a more complete set of data confirm. GDP expanded 4.6% annually in Q1, which matched Q4 2015’s result. Results of note include accelerations in both Thailand’s and the Philippines’ economies, which expanded at multi-year highs. On the flip side, Malaysia’s economy grew at the slowest pace since the financial crisis and Indonesia’s GDP growth rate decelerated.

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  • June 22, 2016

    Regional economy set to enter into a gradual slowdown following Q1’s pick-up 

    Stellar economic performance in India and government-led stimulus in China propelled growth in East and South Asia (ESA) at the outset of the year. According to a more complete set of data, the region’s GDP expanded 6.2% annually, which was just above the 6.1% rise tallied in Q4. As a result, the region experienced the first pick-up in growth since Q2 2014. Robust dynamics in urban consumption were behind the sharp acceleration observed in India. Nevertheless, analysts remain skeptical about the accuracy of the new GDP series. Asia’s export-driven economies such as Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan were severely hit by weak global demand, while in China, policy support cushioned the blow from external shockwaves and mounting domestic imbalances.

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  • June 1, 2016

    Eurozone recovery gains steam in Q1

    More complete data show that despite heightened uncertainty at the start of the year, the Eurozone’s recovery remains firmly on track. The bloc grew a seasonally-adjusted 0.5% in Q1 over the previous quarter, which was slightly below the 0.6% reported in the new, more timely, preliminary estimate. While the figure was influenced partly by transitory factors, such as the early timing of Easter, the result still marks a strong start to the year for the Eurozone and is an acceleration from Q4’s 0.3% increase. Moreover, the bloc’s economy has shown resilience despite a number of external headwinds including the slowdown in emerging markets and financial market volatility at the start the year. Although a breakdown by components is not yet available, high-frequency data suggest that this resilience is being driven by firming domestic demand.

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  • June 8, 2016

    CEE economy grows at slowest pace in over one year in Q1

    The economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) had a soft start to the year, more complete data showed. In Q1, regional GDP growth fell from Q4’s 3.7% to 2.9% over the same quarter of last year. The result marked the weakest growth since Q4 2014 amid a sharp slowdown in EU development funds along with unfavorable external conditions.

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  • June 8, 2016

    SEE economy slows in Q1

    The performance of the South-Eastern Europe’s (SEE) economy was robust in the final quarter of last year. As a result, the growth rate in 2015 was the fastest in five years. Last year’s growth came mainly on the back of accelerations in two of region’s biggest countries, namely Romania and Turkey, which expanded 3.8% and 4.0%, respectively. Conversely, the Greek economy swung back to contraction in 2015 after having expanded for the first time in seven years in 2014.

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  • June 8, 2016

    Russia’s nascent recovery bodes well for the region; Crimea struggles after two years of annexation 

    After a continued deceleration in the period between 2011 and 2014, the economy of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) took a hard hit in 2015 and contracted 2.6% as a sharp fall in commodities prices and the deepening recession in Russia weighed heavily on the region’s performance. The last time the Commonwealth experienced a downturn was in 2009 when the region was greatly impacted by the global financial crisis. At the beginning of 2016, weakness persisted, although the region’s economic activity did show more resilience to heightened volatility in global financial markets and a renewed fall in commodities prices, particularly in oil and gas. An aggregate GDP growth estimate elaborated by FocusEconomics shows that, following the 3.0% year-on-year contraction in Q4 2015, the economy of the Commonwealth decreased 1.1% in Q1. Q1’s reading was revised up from the 2.0% contraction estimated earlier and mainly reflected a better-than-expected GDP growth figure in Russia.

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  • May 11, 2016

    Still low oil prices force countries to tap into international financial markets

    The overall situation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) seems to have taken a turn for the worse at the start of 2016 despite the rally in oil prices that began in mid-January and more stable global financial conditions. Oil prices are still low and this is hurting oil-producing countries’ coffers, while geopolitical risks, subdued global demand and challenging domestic conditions are putting a dent in MENA’s growth. Only a handful of countries have released GDP data for Q1 GDP. The available data show that a severe drought hit growth in Morocco in Q1, while security threats continued to hamper economic activity in Tunisia. In Israel, weak global demand took its toll on GDP growth.

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  • June 22, 2016

    Growth in SSA decelerates substantially in Q1

    Following the slowdown of the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region in the final quarter of last year, latest GDP data show that the economy continued to disappoint in the first quarter of this year. According to a preliminary estimate, the region’s GDP expanded a weak 1.7% over the same quarter of last year, which was well below the 3.0% increase tallied in Q4. This year, most of the countries in the region have been hit my multiple shocks—low commodity prices, tighter financial conditions and shortages of food due to adverse weather conditions in the southern parts of the continent. Thus, it has become imperative for the SSA countries, in particular the commodity-exporting countries, to diversify their economies in order to reinvigorate growth.

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