FocusEconomics Insights - Latest Posts
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%.
May 23, 2019
Israel’s economy surged in the first quarter of 2019 according to preliminary estimates, shrugging off political uncertainty in the build-up to April’s general elections and likely registering one of the strongest expansions in the Middle East and North Africa region. That said, Q1’s figure is less impressive than it appears at first glance; higher vehicle imports, in anticipation of imminent environmental tax changes, boosted the reading. To cut through the noise and get a clearer picture of the true state of Israel’s economy, we spoke to Gil M Bufman, Chief Economist at Bank Leumi.
May 15, 2019
The Belt & Road and Made in China 2025 initiatives strive for a global economy with China at its core
“Hide your strength, bide your time, never take the lead”; such was the philosophy of former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, the architect of the market reforms in the 1970s and 1980s which set the Chinese economy careening towards modernity.
This maxim underpinned Chinese policy for decades, allowing the Asian giant’s economic rise to go largely unchallenged. Many countries drooled at the sight of a swelling new export market, while Western firms ploughed in FDI.
In 2017, current leader Xi Jinping sounded the death knell for Deng’s approach. Speaking at the 19th National Congress—amid a power vacuum left by Donald Trump’s mercantilism and the EU’s internal wrangling over Brexit—he promised China would adopt a more determining role in world affairs.
April 25, 2019
By Guest Author: Professor Arthur S. Guarino, MBA, MSSc, JD, Rutgers University
The amount of corporate debt in the United States is growing at an alarming pace. While issuing debt has its good and dangerous sides, too much debt has been accruing with American companies due to numerous reasons. The problem then becomes how will the American economy be affected in case of an economic downturn.
March 29, 2019
As Steve Hanke put it, the human condition inhabits a vast continuum between “happy” and “miserable.” When it comes to economics, misery tends to stem from high inflation and high unemployment. The best way to ensure happiness is to grow economically, but that is not easy with high inflation and unemployment.
The vast majority of countries report on economic indicators on a regular basis. Therefore, we can compare each nation to get an idea of how happy or miserable the people are in each of the nations.
Are you curious how happy or miserable your country is? In this post we attempt to give you an idea of which countries will be the most miserable (or happy) this year by using our projections for inflation and unemployment in 2019 for 130 countries to calculate their misery index score.
Get a sample report showing our regional, country and commodities data and analysis.
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