How will emerging market economies perform in 2017?
On 4 July, a Goldman Sachs executive appeared on CNBC to discuss investing in emerging markets. According to her, emerging markets may be a better investment than the U.S. despite growing concerns over higher debt levels and a stronger USD, U.S. market's may actually offer more uncertainty than emerging markets.
"Look at what's going on in the U.S. If you think about the moves in the U.S. both in the fixed income and equity markets there's a lot hinging on policy options which may or may not occur. Does tax reform going to happen? What happens to health care? What happens to infrastructure?"
With that said, we brought back our emerging markets economic outlook. Read our latest summaries for the emerging markets below.
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Latin America Economic Outlook
Although the Latin America economy is rebounding from last year’s dismal performance, the pace of the recovery is weak since commodity prices have stabilized at lower levels than previously expected and uncertainty persists about policy changes in the United States. Moreover, a number of domestic challenges are resurfacing, adding further downward pressure on growth. Next year, however, the region should benefit from higher prices for raw materials and the fruits of reforms some countries have implemented over the past two years.
Analysts polled this month by FocusEconomics expect the Latin American economy to rebound this year and expand 1.4%, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. Next year, the regional economy is expected to expand a stronger 2.4%.
Central America & the Caribbean Economic Outlook
FocusEconomics panelists left their overall projections for the Central American and Caribbean regional economy unchanged in June, following last month’s downgrade due to fiscal distress in several economies and lingering uncertainty linked to the U.S. trade and migration agenda. Our analysts expect GDP to expand 3.0% in both 2017 and 2018.
This month, GDP forecasts for 2017 were revised up for Puerto Rico but revised down for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago. They were left unchanged for Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Panama.
Sub-Saharan Africa Economic Outlook
FocusEconomics analysts trimmed their forecasts for Sub-Saharan Africa this month and now see regional GDP expanding 2.6% in 2017, down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. While the region is seen slowly picking up from a dreadful 2016, fiscal constraints, political uncertainty and weak investor sentiment will keep the pace of recovery subdued. In 2018, growth is seen gaining pace as GDP is expected to increase 3.5%.
Middle East & North Africa Economic Outlook
In June, growth prospects for MENA were left stable for the third consecutive month as risks to the economic outlook appear to be broadly balanced. The limited rise in oil prices is having a positive effect in the region. Even if it is not yet enough to allow most oil-export-driven countries to plug their massive fiscal imbalances and improve their current account balances, the mild price increase is helping alleviate liquidity stress in the domestic financial markets and enabling the economies affected to post better-than-expected budget figures. Similarly, the weaker-than-expected rise in oil prices is shoring up private consumption among oil-importing economies and reducing pressure on their external sectors. Nevertheless, despite some improvements, security risks remain high in the region, hurting investor sentiment. Moreover, macroeconomic imbalances and delays in implementing structural reforms are dampening the potential for a sustained economic recovery in the mid- to long-term.
Analysts left MENA’s 2017 GDP growth outlook unchanged at last month’s 2.4%, which would represent the weakest expansion since the height of the financial crisis in 2009. Reforms in a number of countries in the region will nevertheless start to gain traction going forward, while security risks are expected to ease. This, coupled with stronger crude production and rising oil prices, will prompt growth in the region to accelerate to 3.3% in 2018.
Central & Eastern Europe Economic Outlook
The FocusEconomics panel raised the CEE region’s economic outlook for a second consecutive publication this month. Robust growth in Q1 along with strong demand at home and abroad and more support from EU development funds should push regional GDP to expand 3.3%, above 2016’s 2.9% and a notch above last month’s forecast. Next year, the panel sees activity remaining healthy and the economy growing 3.2%.
South-Eastern Europe Economic Outlook
This month, the outlook for South-Eastern Europe’s economy was upgraded from last month’s 2.7% to 2.8%, mirroring the GDP growth figure recorded in 2016. This was the second upward revision in a row after reduced political uncertainty in Turkey had fueled last month’s upgrade. FocusEconomics panelists left their projections unchanged for next year, when they expect the economy to grow 3.0%.
CIS Countries Economic Outlook
After upgrading the region’s 2017 outlook last month, FocusEconomics panelists held their GDP forecast unchanged for the CIS economy this month. A rebound in Russian growth should fuel the region to expand 1.5% in 2017 and growth is seen rising to 2.0% in 2018.
East & South Asia Economic Outlook
Strong growth in some key major economies and healthy global demand are boosting the growth outlook for the East and South Asian economies, along with evidence that downside risks to China’s economy are not materializing. Against this backdrop, FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the region to expand 6.1% this year, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. Next year, the ESA economy will expand at a slightly slower pace of 5.9%.
ASEAN economic outlook
FocusEconomics analysts held ASEAN’s outlook unchanged for a fourth consecutive month as upside and downside risks to the region’s prospects remain balanced. Protectionist U.S. policies or a pronounced slowdown in China are large downside risks to the region’s outlook, however, so far these have yet to materialize. Slower than expected government spending or muted reform progress could hamper the region’s prospects, while stronger than expected global growth is an upside risk. FocusEconomics analysts see GDP rising 4.8% in 2017 and 4.9% in 2018.
This month’s unchanged outlook reflects stable projections for all but four economies in the region. Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand all saw their forecasts upgraded, while Brunei was the only economy to see poorer prospects.
Myanmar will be the region’s fastest-growing economy this year, expanding 7.4%, followed by Cambodia. On the other side of the spectrum, Brunei will grow a tepid 1.1% and the more mature economy of Singapore is seen increasing 2.3%. Looking at the major players, Indonesia will lead the pack and is seen expanding 5.2%, followed by Malaysia with 4.7% growth. Thailand is seen growing a more moderate 3.4%.
There you have it folks. Our latest economic outlook for the emerging markets.
If you'd like to get more data, written analysis, Consensus Forecasts on 30+ macroeconomic indicators for 127 countries, click on the button below to download a free sample of the FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast Report.
5-year economic forecasts on 30+ economic indicators for 127 countries & 33 commodities.
Date: July 6, 2017
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