FocusEconomics Insights - Latest Posts
February 22, 2018
We’re back with another post in our commodities explainer series. This time we take on coal, a commodity that has received a lot of attention in recent years; mostly negative attention because of its effects on the environment. Fossil fuels are referred to as dirty fuels for industrial purposes and power generation, and coal is thought to be the dirtiest of them all. With so much attention placed on the environment in recent years, largely due to the climate change issue, coal has taken much of the flack. Nonetheless, coal is projected to continue to be produced and consumed at a healthy rate in the next few decades despite its bad rap. In this post we give you a comprehensive overview of coal:
February 21, 2018
Gold production in many countries, especially in developing or emerging markets, has declined in recent years as the global economy has largely improved since the global financial crisis. Many mining operations have shut down or downsized significantly. However, prices have been increasing since 2016 as safe haven buying has increased. In part 3 of our series on gold, we begin with a section explaining why the price of gold has been fluctuating in recent years. This is followed by a section on the history and news on gold production in each of the top gold producing economies globally in 2017 according to the United States Geological Survey as well as the 2018 economic outlook for each according to the FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast.
February 21, 2018
by Francisco Rodríguez, Chief Economist at Torino Capital LLC
Most parties in Venezuela’s main opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), have decided to sit out the country’s May elections, according to public statements issued by some of the parties as well as the announcement made by MUD spokesperson Angel Oropeza on February 21, in which he said that they could not participate in a “fraudulent, illegitimate” presidential election unless electoral conditions change. 
Although Oropeza said that all parties that are part of the MUD signed the statement, more moderate sectors of the opposition appear likely to participate. At the present moment, the most probable scenario appears to be one in which President Nicolás Maduro will face an independent candidate supported by some minority parties, with the MUD calling on its supporters to abstain in the elections.
In this scenario, President Maduro will be facing an opposition field that will be split between abstentionists and those favoring participation. This is certainly one of the most favorable settings that the government could have hoped for and raises the possibility that Maduro could be re-elected for a second six-year term without overtly manipulating the vote count. On the other hand, we argue that given the results of recent opinion polls, there is also a significant probability that Maduro could lose the election on these terms.
In this discussion, we begin by exploring the rationale for the decisions taken by key actors and then go on to map the potential scenarios that could arise from the electoral results.
February 6, 2018
It's been just over one year since President of the United States Donald J. Trump took office and what a year it has been. Are you curious what the next year has in store? We recently produced a new special report on the U.S. economy where we interviewed 95 economic analysts for their views on the state of the economy one year into the Trump presidency, and what they believe is in store for the coming years. Below you can find a sample of some of the quotes from the world renowned economic analysts that participated in the survey. You can also download the special report containing insight and analysis on key economic issues for free here.
February 2, 2018
China has been one of the fastest growing economies over the last few decades and is now the second largest economy in the world, just behind the United States. However, after years of astronomical economic growth, the economy is currently in the middle of a “managed” slow down, due in large part to Chinese authorities’ desire to avoid the economy overheating. So what is going on in China currently and what is in store for 2018? Head of Economic Research Ricard Torné reports.
February 1, 2018
Fresh off its best year of growth in over a decade, the outlook for the Eurozone economy appears brighter than ever. Unemployment is falling, confidence is sky-high and even the economies on the periphery are starting to show improvement. However, several challenges are still facing the bloc, including Brexit, divergences across labor markets and a lack of agreement on the next steps for the Union. Against this backdrop, we talked with Stephen Brown, European Economist at Capital Economics, about his view of the Eurozone economy.
January 26, 2018
In recent decades, China’s impact on global growth has showed no signs of waning; this was especially evident in the years following the global financial crisis. In fact, the country's influence on Latin America is growing stronger by the year, and this is due primarily to three main factors.
January 24, 2018
It's 2018, and we're back with our list of the Top 101 Economics and Finance blogs. If you didn't see last year's list, check it out here. As was the case last year, 2018's list was compiled by the FocusEconomics Insights Blog with the help of the FocusEconomics team of economists. The criteria for inclusion in the list was simply that there were regular entries in the blog during the last year and that they are English-language blogs. In the future we'd like to compile a list of foreign-language blogs.
This year there is an eclectic mix of economics blogs from the Keynsian school to the Chicago school to the Austrian school and everything in between and around. We've included blogs on microeconomics, macroeconomics, sports economics and even water economics. Politics and public policy are again common themes in many of these blogs as the impact of politics and policy plays an important role in economics and vice versa. Let's also not forget the intersection between economics and finance. There are some purely finance and investment related blogs in this list as well as blogs that do a bit of it all.
January 24, 2018
After two years of economic contraction, Latin America and the Caribbean have begun to recover, thanks primarily to private consumption. The region’s economy contracted in 2016, but grew 0.9% in 2017, a positive result although it was nowhere near the global growth rate of over 3%. The World Bank’s foresees regional growth doubling this year and hitting 2.6% in 2019, which would be more inline with the global growth rate. The FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast poll of hundreds of analysts worldwide foresees growth in Latin America coming in at 2.4% in 2018 and projects an improvement to 2.7% in 2019.
January 19, 2018
On Tuesday, 16 January, almost all major cryptocurrencies fell in a market slump that continued into Wednesday. Bitcoin, the king of all cryptocurrencies, dropped below USD 10,000, which was almost 50% below its December 2017 peak, after the market entered a second day of a sell-off. According to CoinMarketCap.com, the combined value of over 1,400 cryptocurrencies in circulation fell to USD 460 billion from around USD 800 billion at the start of the month. The causes of the sell-off are not entirely clear, however, some have speculated that the threat of a regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies by some governments may have had something to do with it.
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UNITED STATES: Strong retail sales growth in June rounds out solid second quarter for consumer spending. Find out m… https://t.co/tR41Eftd06
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SOUTH AFRICA: On 12 July, the rand traded at 14.03 per USD, marking a 5.6% appreciation from its value on the same… https://t.co/5JSS67P5Uu
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SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: Growth prospects were cut for the fourth month running chiefly on weaker projected activity in… https://t.co/iorHjgHLwZ
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COLOMBIA: At its 21 June meeting, the Central Bank held the benchmark interest rate steady at 4.25%, in line with m… https://t.co/KwvcZQ4qlX
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CHINA: The government’s commitment to support the economy via fiscal stimulus and accommodative monetary policy sho… https://t.co/jR75s7Ext1
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