FocusEconomics Insights - Latest Posts
November 13, 2019
Canada's domestic cannabis market has grown notably over the past year and has shown signs that it will remain on this trajectory. Read why Canadian cannabis companies are poised to leverage their legislative advantage to prevail as the world's industry leaders.
November 8, 2019
On 1 November, a new era for the Eurozone commenced as Christine Lagarde, the former head of the IMF, took over the reins of the ECB from Mario Draghi. In this post, we assess the outlook for the region next year and the biggest challenges facing Lagarde.
October 30, 2019
On many accounts, Israel has enjoyed an enviable economic trajectory in recent years. From 2010 to 2018 growth averaged 3.8%, while the public debt-to-GDP ratio fell by around ten percentage points. However, the country now faces important challenges, including how to better integrate its Haredi and Arab communities into the labor force, rein in a bulging fiscal deficit, and restore some semblance of political stability in a fractured Knesset—a government is yet to be formed following inconclusive elections in September. To discuss these issues and more, we spoke to Gil M. Bufman, Chief Economist at Bank Leumi.
Lebanese Government announces reforms to appease protestors, but they are unlikely to solve fiscal or economic woes
October 28, 2019
On 21 October the Lebanese government presented a package of reform measures and cabinet approved the 2020 budget. The moves were designed to quell widespread protests—which began several days earlier over proposed tax rises but have since morphed into a more generalized outpouring of discontent regarding corruption and stagnating living standards—which have engulfed the country and paralyzed economic activity. While these measures could narrow the budget deficit in the short term, they are unlikely to be a lasting fix for the precarious fiscal position or reboot a spluttering economy. Moreover, concerns over the sustainability of the currency peg are likely to persist.
September 17, 2019
Argentina’s economic outlook has deteriorated notably since August’s LatinFocus edition. The primary elections on 11 August revealed that President Mauricio Macri is trailing in a very distant second place in the run-up to the October elections, shocking market analysts and sparking a huge and destabilizing capital flight in turn. The drastic change in political landscape and unfolding market turmoil has significantly affected the country’s outlook, particularly for next year. Now, GDP is seen contracting for the third year in a row in 2020, as the exchange rate’s drastic depreciation stokes inflation and forces even tighter monetary policy, suppressing consumption. Moreover, lower sentiment and the uncertain political situation, especially regarding the government’s finances and ability to honor its debts, will damage investment. In this accompanying feature, Argentina Economist Massimo Bassetti explains where the crisis is now and what to expect ahead, while several of our panelists provide insight into their forecasts, the current situation and what they see ahead.
August 28, 2019
Boris Johnson became prime minister on 24 July, with a promise to loosen the fiscal purse strings and leave the EU by 31 October—“no ifs, no buts”. However, with that deadline fast approaching, the UK’s political—and by extension economic—future is still very much in the dark. To shed clarity on the situation, and explore what could be in store for the economy and on the Brexit front, we spoke to Andrew Goodwin, Chief UK Economist at Oxford Economics.
August 14, 2019
This article assesses the economic and political evolution of ASEAN, from the bloc’s foundation in 1967 to the present day, and looks ahead at what is in store over the coming years. It places special focus on the Asian Financial Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis, two events which tested the ties between members. The article concludes with the ASEAN economic outlook from the FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast
Temporary Protected Status: What is it, and how could its termination affect Central America’s economy?
August 13, 2019
- What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
TPS allows citizens from designated countries suffering from armed conflict, natural disasters or unrest to live and work in the U.S. The scheme can be renewed for a potentially unlimited period of time.
- Which Central American countries benefit from TPS?
TPS is currently in place for four countries in the Central America and Caribbean region: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua. Approximately 252,000 Salvadorans, 81,000 Hondurans, 56,000 Haitians and 4,500 Nicaraguans have been awarded TPS, according to a 29 March 2019 report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service. However, these figures likely overstate the true number of beneficiaries currently in the U.S., as they don’t take into account immigrants who have since left the country, died, or adjusted their status.
July 9, 2019
With Argentina’s October election drawing ever closer, all eyes are on its possible outcome and its likely consequences for the country’s economic outlook. The economy finally seems to be slowly but surely recovering, with the improvement in fiscal and external accounts possible harbingers of an incipient turnaround. Looking ahead, the recovery will now critically depend on whether international investors trust the government, especially concerning its willingness to honor the agreement signed with the IMF and its resolve to carry out much-needed economic reforms. We sat down with Lorenzo Sigaut Gravina and Federico Moll, economists at Ecolatina, to discuss the outlook and shed some light on the Gordian knots the new government will have to unravel; the respective political priorities and government strategies; and how the different political outcomes would likely shape Argentina’s economic trajectory.
June 19, 2019
Guest Post from Biz Latin Hub
Global demand for copper is increasing, with a predicted annual growth rate of about 2.6% until 2027. The versatile metal is used in a wide range of consumer goods. Consequently, copper firms are searching for new projects amid a worldwide deficit. As demand quickly grows due to copper’s extensive use in renewable energies, it is an industry full of business opportunities.
Copper will diversify the Panamanian economy and increase its annual GDP growth. Significant investments have already been undertaken by the Canadian firm, First Quantum Minerals, since 2013, in the development of the $6 billion Cobre de Panama mine. Currently, the mining sector only contributes 2.5% to GDP. As the first Panamanian vessel with 31,200 tons of copper was exported this month, the industry has a chance to develop and growth, estimating this figure to reach the 9.5%.
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