FocusEconomics Insights - Latest Posts
July 12, 2018
By Economist Ricardo Aceves
After six years of stagnation, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Latin America returned briskly in 2017, increasing sharply from the previous year. According to the latest report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the flow of FDI in the region grew 8% to USD 150 billion. This was in stark contrast to the global trend; global FDI inflows fell 23% year-on-year, mainly driven by a drop of around a third in developed economies and more than 20% in Africa, while in developing Asia, flows basically stagnated.
July 10, 2018
24 June marked the culmination of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s long-held ambition: to become the most powerful Turkish leader since Atatürk, the man who founded the Republic of Turkey almost a century ago. His crushing victory in presidential and parliamentary elections ushers in a new chapter in the country’s history, cementing the shift to a presidential system of government which will place unprecedented power into the hands of one man. Erdogan will now be able to rule by decree, appoint ministers and senior judges, dissolve parliament and declare a state of emergency. In short, the levers of state are his to command.
July 2, 2018
Economics influencers such as academics, journalists, industry professionals and even central bankers frequently take to Twitter to share their daily thoughts on all things economics, finance, monetary policy and politics in concise yet informative 240-character Tweets. With the success of our Top Economics and Finance Bloggers lists and the fact that not all economics inflencers have blogs, we put together a list of 50 top economics influencers that you can follow on Twitter. We have ranked this list by number of followers. This list can be thought of as a living document, therefore, we will edit the list from time to time to keep it up-to-date and suggest more influencers for you to follow. With that said, let's get to the list of 50 top economics influencers:
June 29, 2018
By Economist Ricardo Aceves
During the final debate among Mexico's presidential candidates for the July 1 elections, the topic that particularly captured my attention was science and technology. While all four candidates’ platforms include proposals on science and technology, it was disappointing to see that they don’t have concrete plans for either. This led me to ask, how ready is Mexico for technological change? What about Latin America?
June 29, 2018
With Mexico's general elections coming up this Sunday, 1 July, Economist Christopher Thomas takes a look at Enrique Peña Nieto's legacy, the biggest challenges that face the new incoming president, and of course, NAFTA, among other issues.
June 18, 2018
On June 1st a new populist coalition government entered office in Italy. The coalition of the 5 Star Movement (M5S) and the League represents a strong rejection of previous fiscal austerity programmes, and a more sceptical attitude to the EU and its institutions, with the League’s leader Matteo Salvini having previously stated that entering the Euro was a mistake for Italy. While the new government has omitted any mentions of a Eurozone exit (Italexit) from its economic programme, its policy plans have significantly raised uncertainty in Italian financial markets. Under certain circumstances, they could lead to a debt crisis, which could cause an Italexit. While non-Italian banks have reduced their exposure to Italian debt since the Eurozone Crisis of 2011-2014, some spill-over risks to the rest of the Eurozone remain.
June 18, 2018
Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the two regions of the world with the least intraregional trade along with Africa. This is due to the fact that historically countless processes have been developed with different objectives and results, which have not only failed to integrate the region economically but have also led to fragmentation. The risk that the escalation of the Trump administration's protectionist agenda implies for Latin America opens a new window via which the two great regional blocs, MERCOSUR and the Pacific Alliance, could grow closer.
June 8, 2018
The economic expansion that took place in the first decade of the 21st Century brought about considerable improvements in Latin American and Caribbean labor markets, including a reduction in unemployment and a significant increase in wages. The formality of employment, however, did not change significantly, reaching only 27% for women and 40% for men. Once the expansion cycle ended, the positive trend in employment stagnated, revealing the fragility of a system that had expanded mainly thanks to an increase in employment, without a considerable increase in productivity.
June 8, 2018
24 June marked a momentous occasion for women in Saudi Arabia; they are now legally allowed to drive for the first time. The move is a key part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 initiative, which aims to modernize and diversify the Gulf state’s petro-dependent economy, and make the country more attractive to would-be foreign investors. It also comes amid a wider reformist push, which saw many top officials purged late last year and the Crown Prince recently touring the West in an attempt to boost Saudi Arabia’s standing abroad.
June 7, 2018
In an upmarket hotel in Seoul on 9 March 2016, a Korean man gently tapped two black stones against a bowl, and became immortalized as a symbol of a new industrial revolution. The man in question was Lee Sedol, one of the strongest players in the history of the ancient Chinese board game Go. He had just resigned against AlphaGo, Google’s artificial intelligence system, in a match that made waves around the world—particularly in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) community.
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