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13 May. 2015 Fed Lift Off Slightly Delayed - Breathing Space for LatAm? (Publication Centre)

The US employment data last week reduced further the likelihood of a June Fed rate increase. In turn, this changes the likely timing of the normalization process in some LatAm economies. Our Chief Economist, Ian Shepherdson, expects the Fed to start its normalization process in July or September; the strength of the employment data will prevent any postponement beyond the third quarter.

20 Jan. 2016 Venezuela Is Collapsing - LatAm's Star--Colombia--Is Merely Slowing (Publication Centre)

Commodity prices have started the year under further downward pressure. This is yet more negative news for LatAm, as most of the countries have failed to diversify, instead relying on oil or copper for a large share of exports and, critically, tax revenue. Venezuela is the biggest loser in the region from the oil hit, and, together with the worsening political and economic crisis, it has pushed the country even closer to the verge of collapse, threatening its debt payments. Venezuela's central bank last week released economic data for the first time since 2014, showing that inflation spiralled to 141% and that the economy shrank 4.5% in the first nine months of last year.

14 March 2017 Commodity Prices won't Alter the Improving LatAm Picture (Publication Centre)

The medium-term outlook in most LatAm economies is improving, though economic activity is likely to remain anaemic in the near term. The gradual recovery in commodity prices is supporting resource economies, while the post-election surge in global stock prices has boosted confidence. But country-specific domestic considerations are equally relevant; the growth stories differ across the region.

13 March 2017 Business as Usual for LatAm Central Banks, Despite the Fed Hike (Publication Centre)

The Fed rate hike on Wednesday is fully priced in to LatAm markets, so we expect no significant immediate reaction when the trigger is pulled. But as markets gradually come around to our view that future U.S. rate risk is to the upside, markets will come under renewed pressure.

9 November. 2016 Trump Stuns LatAm... Banxico Likely Will Have to Act (Publication Centre)

As it became clear that Donald Trump would beat Hillary Clinton to win the U.S. presidency, EM currencies came under severe pressure, fearing his economic and immigration policies. Some of the initial pressure is easing as markets digest the news and following Mr. Trump's conciliatory tone in his victory speech. But the proposals have been made and the MXN and other key LatAm assets likely will remain very stressed in the near term.

12 Nov. 2015 US Fed is Set to Hike in December, A Worry For LatAm But not a Crisis (Publication Centre)

LatAm economies this year have faced a tough external environment of subdued commodity prices, weaker Chinese growth, the rising USD, and the impending Fed lift-off. At the domestic level, lower public spending, low confidence, and economic policy reform have clashed with above-target inflation, which has prevented central bankers from loosening monetary policy in order to mitigate the external and domestic headwinds. In these challenging circumstances, LatAm growth generally continues to disappoint, though performance is mixed.

9 Oct. 2015 Three-Speed LatAm Inflation - Brazil And Mexico the Outliers (Publication Centre)

The big four LatAm economies, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile, released September inflation this week and the data showed three clear--and contrasting--trends. Inflation is accelerating in the Andes, whereas the headline rate hit another historic low in Mexico. Inflation in Brazil is still the depressing outlier, with annual CPI inflation hovering around 9.5% year-over-year in recent months, well above the rates of its regional peers. But it is close to peaking, at last.

24 June. 2016 Markets Wild After Brexit Vote, LatAm Currencies Under Pressure (Publication Centre)

The U.K.'s unexpected vote for Brexit means a stronger USD for the foreseeable future, pressure on EM currencies and increasing risk premiums. LatAm fundamentals will a sideshow for some time. The focus will be on the currencies, which will be the main shock absorbers.

8 May 2017 Rocky Commodity Markets Put LatAm FX under Temporary Stress (Publication Centre)

LatAm assets have done well in recent weeks on the back of upbeat investor risk sentiment, low volatility in developed markets and a relatively benign USD. A less confrontational approach from the U.S. administration to trade policy has helped too.

16 November. 2016 The Sell-off in LAtAm is Starting to Ease, but Risks Remain (Publication Centre)

Selling pressure in LatAm markets after Donald Trump's election victory eased when the dollar rally paused earlier this week. Yesterday, the yield on 10- year Mexican bonds slipped from its cycle high, and rates in other major LatAm economies also dipped slightly.

4 November. 2016 Markets Stress in LatAm Increases as Fed and U.S. Election Loom (Publication Centre)

LatAm markets and central banks have been paying close attention to developments in the U.S. The FOMC left rates on hold on Wednesday, as expected, but underscored its core view that inflation will rise in the medium-term, requiring gradual increases in the fed funds rate.

30 June. 2016 Commodities are Helping LatAm's Recovery - Brexit not a Deal-Breaker (Publication Centre)

The downturn in LatAm is finally bottoming out, but the economy of the region as a whole will not return to positive year-over-year economic growth until next year. The domestic side of the region's economy is improving, at the margin, thanks mainly to the improving inflation picture, and relatively healthy labor markets.

16 June 2017 LatAm Markets will Continue to Cope Well with Fed Tightening (Publication Centre)

LatAm markets reacted well to the U.S. Fed's decision to increase the funds rate by 25bp, to 1-to-1¼%, on Wednesday. Currencies moved only slightly after the decision and asset markets were relatively stable. Yesterday, some currencies retreated marginally as investors digested the relatively hawkish message from the Fed and Chair Yellen's press conference.

16 Dec. 2015 LatAm Central Banks Will Tighten in Response to the Fed? (Publication Centre)

We look for the Fed to increase rates today by 25bp to a range of 0.25%-to-0.50%. The FOMC will likely say that policy remains very accommodative and that rate hikes will be slow. Unfortunately, this will provide only temporary relief to LatAm. According to our Chief Economist, Ian Shepherdson, faster wage gains next year in the U.S. will disrupt the Fed's intention to move gradually. If wages accelerate as quickly as we expect, the Fed will need to raise rates more rapidly than it currently expects, which is also faster than markets anticipate. That, in turn, will put EM markets and currencies under further pressure.

6 March 2017 Fed Fears Hit LatAm FX Last Week - is a Renewed Sell-off Coming? (Publication Centre)

LatAm assets have struggled in recent days as it has become clear that the Fed will hike next week. But we don't expect currencies to collapse, as domestic fundamentals are improving and the broader external outlook is relatively benign.

28 August. 2015 Fed Delay Until December Will Be Positive For LatAm Markets - Just (Publication Centre)

Multiple factors have shaken LatAm financial markets this week. China's market turmoil, commodity price oscillations, currency volatility, and political mayhem in every corner of the region, have all conspired against markets. But market chaos has also driven some central banks to rethink their monetary policy plans. For EM, in particular for LatAm, the stance of the Federal Reserve is key, given the region's close ties to the U.S., and the dollar.

12 Oct. 2015 Fed Minutes Bring Temporary Relief to Besieged LatAm Markets (Publication Centre)

In recent weeks LatAm's currencies and stock markets, together with key commodity prices, have risen as financial markets' expectations for a rate increase by the Fed this year have faded. The COP has risen 8.5% over the last month, the MXN is up 2.5%, the CLP has climbed 1.4% and the PEN has been practically stable against the USD. The minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting added strength to this market's view, showing that policymakers postponed an interest rate hike as they worried about a global slowdown, particularly China, the strong USD and the impact of the drop in stock prices.

22 August 2017 Economic Activity is Turning Up in LatAm, but no Boom Coming (Publication Centre)

LatAm's economies are gradually rebounding, boosted by easier monetary policy in most countries, falling inflation, and a relatively calm external backdrop.

22 May 2017 LatAm Markets Under Renewed Pressure, but Hold on, for Now (Publication Centre)

LatAm's relatively calm market environment has been thrown into disarray over the last few weeks.New fears of a slowdown in China, political turmoil in the U.S. and, most importantly, the serious corruption allegations facing Brazil's President, Michel Temer, have triggered a modest correction in asset markets and have disrupted the region's near-term policy dynamics.

26 August. 2015 Sharp Swings In LatAm Markets Highlights Their Vulnerabilities (Publication Centre)

LatAm currencies and stock markets have suffered badly in recent weeks, but Monday turned into a massacre with the MSCI stock index for the region falling close to 4%. Markets rebounded marginally yesterday, but remain substantially lower than their April-May peaks. Each economy has its own story, so the market hit has been uneven, but all have been battered as China's stock market has crashed. The downward spiral in commodity prices--oil hit almost a seven-year low on Monday--is making the economic and financial outlook even worse for LatAm.

21 June 2017 Q3 LatAm FX Will be Driven by Fundamentals and Commodities (Publication Centre)

LatAm investors' concerns about U.S. monetary policy expectations and the broad direction of the USD should on the back burner until the Fed hikes again, likely in September. This will leave room for country-specific drivers to take centre stage. That should support Mexico's MXN, which already has risen 14% year-to-date against the USD, erasing its losses after the US election last November.

*Oct. 2016 - LATAM. Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Latam activity and markets are improving......but volatility will rise in Q4 due to global factors

27 June. 2016 Life After Brexit: LatAm Suffers Higher Volatility, But Will Survive (Publication Centre)

The U.K.'s unexpected decision to vote to leave the E.U. will have serious ramifications for the global economy, and LatAm economies are unlikely to emerge unscathed. It is very difficult to quantify the short-term effects due to the intricacies of the financial transmission channels into the real economy.

21 Sept. 2015 Fed Delays Interest Rate Liftoff - LatAm Breathes a Sigh Of Relief (Publication Centre)

The Fed deferred, but did not cancel, the start of its rate normalization last week. As a consequence, December is now the most likely meeting for the first hike. The Fed's core view of the U.S. economy remains the same, but policymakers want a bit more time to see how global developments affect the U.S. Our Chief Economist, Ian Shepherdson, expects the strength of the employment data, better Chinese numbers and calm financial markets to prevent any further postponement beyond Q4.

13 Apr. 2016 Key Data Improving in the Biggest LatAm Economies, Just (Publication Centre)

Industrial production in Mexico surged 2.6% year-over-year in February, up from a 0.8% increase in January. A favourable calendar effect, however, is a key part of this story. Once adjusted for the leap year, which added an extra working day, industrial production rose only 0.8%, down from a 1.6% expansion in January.

H2 2017 LatAM Outlook - Monetary Policy Easing Continues, Offsetting Political Risk (Publication Centre)

Pantheon Macroeconomics is pleased to make available to you our Outlooks for the second half of 2017 for the US, Eurozone, UK, Asia, and Latin America. These reports present our key views, giving you a concise summary of our economic and policy expectations. If you are interested in seeing publications which you don't already receive, please request a complimentary trial

LatAm H1 2017 Outlook - Bracing for Trump's Hurricane...External risks will dominate in 2017 (Publication Centre)

We expect growth in Latin America--except Mexico--to improve in 2017, especially during the second half...

1 July. 2015 LatAm Markets Threatened by the Deepening Greek Crisis (Publication Centre)

A mix of political and economic events have triggered outflows of capital from emerging markets this year. Tensions in Europe, due to the "Grexit" saga, together with China's slowdown and concerns about Fed lift-off have weighed on EM flows. In recent months, though, some of the pressure on EM currencies has eased as the markets have come to expect fewer U.S. rate hikes in the near term.

20 Mar. 2015 LatAm FX Rally After Fed's Signal, But Relief Will be Temporary (Publication Centre)

The global economy is heading towards a new scenario, triggered by the impending start of the monetary policy normalization process in the U.S. In some major economies, notably the Eurozone, the Fed's actions will not derail or even jeopardize the cyclical economic upturn.

23 May. 2016 LatAm Markets Hit by a Hawkish Fed - Choppy Summer Ahead? (Publication Centre)

Weakness across EM asset markets returned after the April FOMC minutes, released last week, suggested that a June rate hike is a real possibility. The risks posed by Brexit, however, is still a very real barrier to Fed action, with the vote coming just eight days after the FOMC meeting.

24 August. 2015 Better Economic News Fails to Lift LatAm Sentiment - Fx Still Trashed (Publication Centre)

Mexico's economy continues to withstand several headwinds, especially the sharp currency depreciation--shown in our first chart--falling commodity prices, and the tough external environment. The country is still one of the economic bright spots in the region, thanks to its resilient domestic demand. June retail sales rose 5.4% year-over-year, well above expectations, and up from 4.1% in May. The underlying trend is positive, averaging 4.8% in the second quarter, well above its 2014 pace.

30 Nov. 2015 South American Central Banks Still Worrying About Inflation (Publication Centre)

Colombia's peso has been one of the most battered currencies in LatAm this year, due mainly to the sharp fall in oil prices, the country's primary export. The COP has dropped about 23% this year against the USD. At the same time, other temporary factors, most notably the impact of El Niño on food prices, have done a great deal of inflation damage too. October's food prices increased 1.4% month-to-month, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 8.8% from an average of 6.6% in the first half of the year. Overall inflation has jumped to 5.9% in October from 3.8% in January, forcing BanRep's board to act aggressively.

3 May 2017 BanRep Acted Boldly on Friday. Will the BCRP follow Suit Next Week? (Publication Centre)

Colombia's sluggish growth and near-term economic outlook resembles that of most other LatAm economies. Domestic demand is weak, credit conditions are tight, and confidence is depressed. The medium term outlook, however, is perking up, slowly.

19 Oct. 2015 Chile Follows its Peers, But the Tightening Cycle Will be Brief (Publication Centre)

Chile's central bank, the BCCh, admitted defeat in the face of the inflationary effects of the CLP's depreciation, increasing interest rates by 25bp to 3.25% last Thursday, the first hike since mid-2011. Chile is the third LatAm economy in a month to increase rates in response to currency weakness, despite sluggish economic growth.

18 October. 2016 Conditions are Right For Brazil to Ease Tomorrow, More to Come (Publication Centre)

Inflation pressures in LatAm are moderating, and governments have been taking steps to pursue fiscal consolidation. These factors, coupled with a relatively favourable external environment, are providing policymakers with the opportunity to start relaxing monetary policy.

26 Oct. 2015 Mexico's Private Consumption is the Key Driver of the Upswing (Publication Centre)

The tumultuous political and economic crises in Brazil continue to feed off each other, grabbing most of the LatAm headlines. Sentiment will remain depressed, and volatility and uncertainty will persist, hampering any real signs of stabilization in the near-term. The Pacific Alliance countries, by contrast, managed to grow at relatively solid rates during the first half of this year, after absorbing the hit from falling commodity prices.

4 April 2017 Mexican Markets Had a Good Q1, the Next Test is on the Political Front (Publication Centre)

LatAm, particularly Mexico, has dealt with Donald Trump's presidency better than expected thus far. Indeed, the MXN rose 10.7% against the USD in Q1, the stock market has recovered after its initial post-Trump plunge, and risk metrics have eased significantly.

14 November 2017 Mexico's Manufacturing Remains Resilient, but NAFTA Risk is High (Publication Centre)

LatAm's economies are starting to expand at a relatively healthy pace, inflation is more or less under control and near-term growth prospects are positive.

*September 2017 - Latin America Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Latam started the second half strongly...But risks remain, politics in particular

11 Jan. 2016 Brazil's Inflation Hits a 13-Year High - Copom Will Hike Again (Publication Centre)

Last week's events highlighted the seriously challenging global environment for LatAm equities and currencies. Trading in Chinese shares was stopped twice early last week, after falls greater than 7% of the CSI 300 index reverberated around the world. Markets were calmer on Friday but the volatility nevertheless reminded investors that LatAm's economies are floating in rough waters and their resilience will be put to the test again this year. The Fed's policy normalization, the unwinding of the leverage in EM, the continued slowdown of the Chinese economy, low commodity prices and currency depreciation are all real threats across the continent.

*November 2017 - Latin America Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Latam's economies are improving...but political risks are a big threat

*May 2017 - Latin America Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

LatAm fundamentals are improving...but shaky commodity markets highlight threats

*August 2017 - Latin America Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

LatAm domestic demand is stabilizing...fading political risk will help

*June 2017 - Latin America Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

LatAm economic activity is stabilizing...but the recovery will be modest in Q3.

11 November. 2016 Eyes of Hurricanes Pass, then the Real Uproar Begins (Publication Centre)

Uncertainty about the U.S. economic and political outlook, following Donald Trump's presidential win, likely will cast a long shadow over EM in general and LatAm in particular. On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump argued for tearing up NAFTA and building a border wall.

9 Nov. 2015 Inflation Still a Headache for South American Central Banks (Publication Centre)

Three of the big LatAm economies-- Brazil, Colombia and Chile--released October inflation last week; the data are still showing the pass-through effects of currency depreciation during the first half of the year into prices, though, at different degrees. LatAm currencies have been hit by the weakness in commodity prices and negative sentiment towards EM generally.

14 November. 2016 Brazil's Private Spending was Weak in Q3 (Publication Centre)

Volatility and risk will remain high in L atAm for the foreseeable future. President-elect Donald Trump's uncertain foreign policies could have a considerable impact on LatAm economies in the months and years ahead.

17 June. 2016 Yet Another Hurdle: Brexit Fears Overshadow a Dovish Fed (Publication Centre)

This week's Fed meeting eased many LatAm investors' minds, fuelling rallies in most of the region's currencies. We think the U.S. labour market is going through a genuine soft patch but will regain momentum over the coming months, prompting policymakers to hike rates in September.

16 Mar. 2016 Central Banks Will Set the Tone for Markets In Coming Days (Publication Centre)

This week's Monetary Policy Committee meetings in Chile, Mexico and Colombia look set to dominate market events in LatAm. On Friday, we expect Mexico's Banxico to keep rates on hold at 3.75%, after its unexpected 50bp increase in mid-February. At that time, the board cited growing concerns about financial markets, Mexico's weakened currency, and the country's fiscal situation, as reasons for its move.

4 May. 2016 The Recent Recovery of LatAm's Currencies Poses No Threat, Yet (Publication Centre)

The recovery of some key commodity prices, policy action in China, and stronger expectations that the U.S. Fed will start hiking rates later during the year, have helped reduce volatility in LatAm financial markets. Oil prices have rise by around 20% year-to-date, iron ore prices are up about 60% and copper has risen by 7%.

7 November. 2016 U.S. Election is the Big Threat for LatAm Markets (Publication Centre)

The U.S. Presidential election will set the tone for LatAm's markets this week. Hillary Clinton's dwindling lead over Donald Trump in recent polls has unleashed pressure on EM assets.

9 Feb. 2015 Only Brazil Will Have to Hike, Other LatAm Central Banks On Hold (Publication Centre)

Last week's data supported our view that monetary policy across LatAm will continue to diverge in the short term. Brazil will have to prolong its monetary tightening cycle, while economies such as Colombia and Chile will remain on hold despite the recent slowdowns in their economic cycle.

4 Feb. 2015 Divergent Manufacturing Stories in LatAm's Biggest Economies (Publication Centre)

The manufacturing indexes for January showed a small improvement for the biggest economies in LatAm: Brazil and Mexico. In Brazil, the PMI manufacturing index increased marginally to 50.7 in December from 50.2 in November, thanks to stronger output and new orders components, which rose together for the first time in ten months.

25 Mar. 2015 LatAm Central Banks Will Exploit Market's View on Fed's Stance (Publication Centre)

The Colombian economy--the star of the previous economic cycle in LatAm--is now slowing significantly, due mostly to strong external headwinds. Exports plunged by 40% year-over-year in January, down from -29% in December, with all of the main categories contracting in the worst performance since 1980.

20 September. 2016 LatAm's Disinflation is Gathering Speed - Rate Cuts Soon? (Publication Centre)

August inflation surprised to the downside across most of LatAm, as food price surges proved transitory, and the lagged effect of the FX depreciations last year faded. Brazil appeared to be the exception last month, but the underlying trend in inflation is downwards.

12 October. 2016 After High Volatility in Q4, LatAm Currencies Will Strengthen in 2017 (Publication Centre)

Investors will increase their focus on exchange rates as the US presidential election and the Fed's next rate hike approach. Markets are becoming concerned that a surge in the USD could trigger another spike in LatAm currency volatility, depressing the good year- to-date performance of most local market assets.

16 December 2016 LatAm Currencies Sell-off Post Fed Hike, but they will Stabilize Soon (Publication Centre)

LatAm markets reacted relatively well to the Fed's rate hike on Wednesday, which was largely priced-in. The markets' cool-headed reaction bodes well for Latam central banks. But it doesn't mean that the region is risk-free, especially as Mr. Trump's inauguration day draws near.

24 January 2017 LatAm Currencies Enjoying a Moment of Calm, but Risks Remain (Publication Centre)

Most LatAm currencies traded higher against the USD yesterday, adding to the gains achieved after Donald Trump's inauguration last Friday. The MXN, which was the best performer during yesterday's session, was up about 0.8%; it was followed by the CLP, and the BRL. The positive performance of most LatAm currencies, especially the MXN, is related to positioning and technical factors.

14 February 2017 Global Manufacturing Picks Up Pace, Are Good News for LatAm? (Publication Centre)

More evidence indicating that the recovery in global industrial activity is underway and gaining momentum- has poured in. In particular, trade data from China, one of LatAm's biggest trading partners, was stronger than the market expected last month. Both commodity import and export volumes increased sharply in January, and this suggests better economic conditions for China's key trading partners.

11 Dec. 2015 Brazil's Economic Woes Deepen as Inflation Hits a 12-Year High (Publication Centre)

Brazil's inflation rate is in double digits for the first time in 12 years. The benchmark IPCA price index rose 1.0% month-to-month in November, lifting the year-over-year rate to 10.5%, the highest since November 2003. The core IPCA increased 0.7% month-to-month, pushing the year-over-year rate in November up to 8.9% from 8.6% in October.

*March 2017 - Latin America Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

Economic Activity Remains Sub-Par... But Downside Risks are Gradually Easing

18 May. 2016 Colombia's Domestic Demand Fell in Q1 - Better News Ahead? (Publication Centre)

Activity in Colombia cooled at the end of the first quarter, in the face of many domestic and external headwinds. Retail sales, for example, plunged 2.9% in March after a 4.6% leap in February. The headline likely was depressed by the early Easter, as March had one fewer trading day than February.

14 June. 2016 Kuczynski is Good For Peru, But he Won't Find it Easy to Rule (Publication Centre)

Pedro Kuczynski, the centre-right candidate of the Peruvians for Change party, won the presidential election held in June 5th. Mr. Kuczynski, a former finance minister and World Bank economist, defeated Ms. Keiko Fujimori, the candidate of the conservative Fuerza Popular party, and the daughter of jailed former leader Alberto Fujimori. Mr. Kuczynski's margin of victory over Ms. Fujimori was fewer than 43K votes, or just 0.2%.

5 July 2017 Cyclical Improvement in Brazil's Trade Balance is Nearly Over (Publication Centre)

Brazil's external position continue to improve, but we are sticking to our view that further significant gains are unlikely in the second half, given the stronger BRL. For now, though, we still see some momentum, with the unadjusted trade surplus increasing to USD7.2B in June, up from USD4.0B a year earlier. Exports surged 24% year-over-year but imports rose only 3%.

30 September. 2016 Trump Fears Prompts a Rate Hike in Mexico, the MXN Rallies, for Now (Publication Centre)

Mexico's central bank, Banxico, last night capitulated again to the depreciation of the MXN and increased interest rates by 50bp, for the third time this year. This week's rebound in the currency was not enough to prevent action.

7 April 2017 Mexico Sentiment is on the Mend as U.S. Threats are Easing, for Now (Publication Centre)

Sentiment has been improving gradually in Mexico in recent weeks, reversing some of the severe deterioration immediately after the U.S. presidential election. Year-to-date, the MXN has risen 10.3% against the USD and the stock market is up by almost 8%. We think that less protectionist U.S. trade policy rhetoric than expected immediately after the election explains the turnaround.

29 May. 2015 Brazil's External Accounts are Improving Amid Weak Economy (Publication Centre)

Brazil's current account deficit rose to USD6.9B in April, from USD5.8B in March. The deficit totaled USD100.2B, or 4.5% of GDP on a 12-month rolling basis, marginally better than 4.6% in March; the underlying trend is flat. The services and income accounts improved slightly compared to April last year.

28 November 2017 Political Uncertainty to Continue in Mexico Despite a Brief Pause (Publication Centre)

Mexico's political panorama seems to be becoming clearer, at least temporarily. This should dispel some of the uncertainty that has been hanging over the economy in recent months.

15 Dec. 2014 Don't Tar All of LatAm With The Same Brush on Weak Oil Prices (Publication Centre)

We have set out in recent Monitors the differences in the economic and political environment across Latin America, but the plunge in oil prices adds a new element to the analysis.

14 Jan. 2015 Industrial Production: A Tale of the Two Major LatAm Economies (Publication Centre)

On Monday we highlighted the grim state of the Brazilian industrial sector, where output fell by a huge 5.8% year-over-year in November. By contrast, the outlook for Mexico's industrial sector is much brighter.

11 May. 2016 Inflation Pressures Easing in LatAm Following FX Appreciation (Publication Centre)

Mexican inflation pressures eased towards the start of Q2. Inflation fell to 2.5% year-over-year in April from 2.6% in March, due to a sharp fall in energy inflation--as a result of the introduction of new electricity tariffs in the warm season--and a fall in the rate of increase of fresh food prices. Depressed energy prices will continue to constrain inflation in coming months, but base effects will reduce the drag later this year.

16 Feb. 2015 Central Banks in LatAm Concerned about Inflation Pass-Through (Publication Centre)

Central banks in Chile, Peru, and Mexico hogged the market spotlight last week. Chile left its main interest rate at 3.0% on Thursday, for the fourth consecutive meeting.

15 August. 2016 Dovish, but Vigilant Policymakers in LatAm - the Fed is the Key Risk (Publication Centre)

Last week, Banxico, the BCCh and the BCRP all left their reference rates on hold. Their currencies have remained relatively stable in recent months and inflation pressures are under control. In Mexico, Banxico has adopted a more discretionary approach, following two 50bp hikes this year.

9 Mar. 2015 Currency Depreciation is Affecting Inflation Expectations in LatAm (Publication Centre)

Brazil's central bank is in a very delicate situation. The economy is on the verge of another recession, but at the same time the BRL is falling, inflation expectations are rising and the inflation rate is overshooting. Fiscal policy is also tightening to restore macro stability magnifying the squeeze on growth.

8 June. 2015 Inflation improving in key LatAm countries, but risks remain (Publication Centre)

Tomorrow, Mexico's INEGI will release its inflation report for the second half of May, which is of key importance for Banxico's monetary policy. The Bank, in particular governor Agustin Carstens, has said on many occasions that it will watch external conditions and their impact on consumer prices closely. We expect inflation to edge down to 2.9% year-over-year in May, thanks to a 0.1% increase in the second half.

10 April 2017 Will the Inflation Dichotomy in the Big LatAm Economies Persist? (Publication Centre)

Brazilian inflation hit its lowest rate in almost seven years in March, while Mexico's rate is the highest since July 2009. Yet we expect Mexico to tighten policy only modestly in the near term, while Brazil will ease rapidly.

22 Dec. 2014 LatAm's Currencies and Economies are Telling Different Stories (Publication Centre)

The sharp drop in commodity prices, especially oil prices, has dampened the growth prospects for most countries in Latin America. But the most damage, so far, is in the currencies, which have dropped sharply.

21 March 2017 LatAm's Gradual Recovery will Ease Concerns on the Fiscal Front (Publication Centre)

Latin American markets have been relatively resilient this year, despite Fed tightening and high global political risks. The LACI index has risen more than 5% year-to-date, and the MSCI index has been trending higher since late last year.

21 Mar. 2016 Monetary Policy Divergence in LatAm Despite Calm in Markets (Publication Centre)

No surprises from Chile's central bank last week, after leaving rates unchanged for the third consecutive month, in the light of recent data confirming the sluggish pace of the economic recovery. In the communiqué accompanying the decision, the BCCh kept their tightening bias, signaling that rates will rise in the near term.

21 Dec. 2015 Fed Tightening Triggers Immediate Policy Changes in LatAm (Publication Centre)

Central banks in Mexico, Colombia and Chile raised interest rates last week in tandem with the Fed, underscoring the almost mystical importance of the FOMC's actions in Latin America. In Colombia and Chile, their decisions were also helped by rising inflation pressures, due mainly to pass-through effects from currency depreciation.

11 Mar. 2015 Fed Rate Hike Fears Now the Key Worry For LatAm Central Banks (Publication Centre)

Inflation appears no longer to be an issue for Mexican policymakers. The annual headline rate slowed to 3.0% year-over-year in February from 3.1% in January, in the middle of the central bank's target range, for the first time since May 2006.

06 May. 2015 Latest Data Enhances Divergent Activity Trends in LatAm (Publication Centre)

Mexican manufacturing sector kicked off the year on a soft note, due mainly to the sharp drop in oil prices, and the sharp weather-induced slowdown in the U.S. Mexico's northern neighbor is its largest trading partner, by far, accounting for about 85% of total exports last year and close to 80% of total non-oil exports.

18 January 2017 The MXN Will Struggle in the Near-Term as Markets Assess Trump (Publication Centre)

Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday might mark the beginning of a new era for both the U.S. and the global economy. For commodity-producing Latam countries, such as Chile, Peru and Colombia, attention will shift to Trump's proposed tax reforms, pro-business agenda and planning infrastructure spending. Mexico, on the other hand, will be grappling with Mr. Trump's trade and immigration policies.

18 Mar. 2015 Tough times for Colombia: Falling Oil Prices and COP Depreciation (Publication Centre)

Colombia was the fastest growing economy in LatAm last year but it faces major challenges. The collapse of oil prices--which account for about half of exports--the COP depreciation, rising inflation and Fed's impending monetary policy normalization, are dragging down economic activity and damaging confidence.

31 October. 2016 Mexico and Brazil Are Stabilizing at Different Speeds, For Now (Publication Centre)

While we were out, the economic news in LatAm was mostly positive. The main upside surprise came from Mexico, with the IGAE activity index--a monthly proxy for GDP--rising 2.9% year-over-year in August, up from 1.2% in July, and an average of 2.4% in Q2. A modest rebound was anticipated, but the headline was much better than we and the markets expected.

17 October. 2016 Banxico Minutes Confirm that FX Speculation is the Key Rate Threat (Publication Centre)

Banxico is one of the few central banks in LatAm to have hiked rates in 2016, and we expect it to remain relatively hawkish in the face of external risks.

11 Nov. 2015 Mexico Relying on the Fed - Chile Looking for China's Recovery (Publication Centre)

Mexico's inflation remains the envy of LatAm, having consistently outperformed the rest of the region this year. Headline inflation slowed marginally to 2.5% in October, a record low and below the middle of Banxico's target, 2-to-4%, for the sixth straight month. The annual core rate increased marginally to 2.5% in October from 2.4% in September, but it remains below the target and its underlying trend is inching up only at a very slow pace. We expect it to remain subdued, closing the year around 2.7% year-over-year. Next year it will gradually increase, but will stay below 3.5% during the first half of 2016, given the lack of demand pressures and the ample output gap.

18 Mar. 2016 Politics in Focus in South America, But for Different Reasons (Publication Centre)

Colombia and Peru have been among the top performers in LatAm currency markets in recent weeks, both rising above 4% against the dollar. Higher commodity prices seem to be driving the rally as domestic factors haven't changed dramatically.

3 January 2017 Brazil stabilizes while Mexico softens (Publication Centre)

The data in LatAm have been all over the map in recent weeks. Brazil's cyclical stabilization continues, while Mexican numbers confirm that the economy has come under pressure in recent months.

23 September. 2016 The MXN Will Remain a Victim of Collateral Risk This Year (Publication Centre)

The risk of higher US rates put LatAm currencies under pressure during the first half of the week, before the US FOMC meeting on Wednesday. But they recovered some ground yesterday, following the Fed's decision to leave rates on hold.

27 Feb. 2015 External Positions Highlight The Brazil-Mexico Performance Gap (Publication Centre)

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony this week reinforced our view that the first U.S. rate hike will be in June. The transition to higher U.S. rates will require an unpleasant adjustment in asset prices in some LatAm countries.

20 May. 2015 Chile is Recovering, But Colombia Faces Further Near-Term Softness (Publication Centre)

Colombia, the third largest economy in LatAm, has not been immune to the headwinds of the global economy since the financial crisis in 2008, though it remains one of the fastest growing economies in the region. GDP growth slowed sharply to just 1.7% in 2009, but that was still much better than the 1.2% contraction of the region as a whole.

29 March 2017 Banxico to Hike Tomorrow Despite the MXN's Rebound this Year (Publication Centre)

LatAm currencies have risen against the USD so far this year, easing the upward pressure on imported good prices and allowing most central banks to cut interest rates. The first direct effects of stronger currencies should be felt by firms which import high-turnover intermediate or final goods.

17 March 2017 Colombia's Economy is Slowing Rapidly, BanRep to Cut Further (Publication Centre)

The Fed's insistence this week that U.S. rates will rise only twice more this year helped to ease pressures on LatAm markets this week, particularly FX. The way is now clear for some LatAm central banks to cut interest rates rapidly over the coming months, even before U.S. fiscal and trade policy becomes clear. We expect the next Fed rate hike to come in June, as the labor market continues to tighten. If we're right, the free-risk window for LatAm rate cuts is relatively short.

*Sept. 2015 - Latin America Economic Chartbook* (Publication Centre)

China and commodities still hurting Latam....But Brazil has severe domestic woes

13 Mar. 2015 FX Markets Punish Imbalances When The Fed Hikes - Brazil At Risk (Publication Centre)

LatAm currencies have suffered in recent weeks. Each country has its own story, so the currency hit has been uneven, but all LatAm economies share one factor: Fear of the start of a Fed tightening cycle.

14 Dec. 2015 Peru's Central Bank Tightens Again to Contain Inflation Pressures (Publication Centre)

Peru's central bank, the BCRP, admitted defeat again in the face of the inflationary effects of the PEN's depreciation and El Niño, increasing interest rates by 25bp to 3.75% last Thursday, following its 25bp increase in September. Peru is the third LatAm economy in the last few months to raise rates in response to currency weakness, despite sluggish economic growth. The key problem for Peru is that inflation has been trending higher since early 2013 and has remained stubbornly high, above 2.8% all this year. "Temporary" factors just keep on coming.

9 October 2017 Inflation Surprises in September, but Will Central Banks Care? (Publication Centre)

Recent inflation numbers across LatAm have surprised, in both directions. On the upside, Brazil's IPCA index rose 0.2% month-to-month in September, above the market consensus forecast of 0.1%.

11 May. 2015 Mexico's Inflationary Pressures Subdued - On Target This Year (Publication Centre)

Mexico is the only major LatAm economy not struggling with inflation. The headline April CPI fell 0.3% month-to-month, with the year-over-year rate unchanged at 3.1%, in the middle o f Banxico's 2-to-4% target. Inflationary pressures have been broadly absent since the beginning of the year, with the annual core CPI rate slowing to 2.3% in April from 2.5% in March.

25 August 2017 Mexico's Mid-August Inflation Surprise is Nothing to Worry About (Publication Centre)

Mexico's inflation has been LatAm's odd one out over the last few years. In the decade through 2014, Mexico's inflation rate was broadly in sync with those of its regional fellows, as shown in our first chart.

15 Feb. 2016 Central Banks Keep Tightening Bias As USD Still A Concern (Publication Centre)

LatAm economies are being battered by high inflation triggered by currency sell-offs and El Niño supply shocks, so rates have had to rise despite the challenging global environment. Peru's central bank, the BCRP, was forced to increase interest rates by 25bp to 4.25% last Thursday, the fourth hike in six months, as inflation is far above the central bank's 1-to-3% target range.

08 Jan. 2016 Colombia's Economic Resilience Will be Challenged - Oil Is Still Key (Publication Centre)

Colombia was likely the fastest growing economy in LatAm in 2015, but it is set to slow this year as monetary and fiscal policy are tightened, and commodity prices remain under pressure during the first half of the year, at least. Economic activity was surprisingly resilient during 2015, especially during the second half, despite the COP's sell-off, high inflation, and subdued consumer confidence.

05 Feb. 2016 The Strong Dollar is Supporting Mexico's Domestic Economy (Publication Centre)

Mexico's structural reforms, robust fundamentals, and its close ties to the U.S. should have conferred a degree of protection from the turmoil in EMs over the past year. But its markets have been hit as hard as other LatAm countries by the sell-off in global markets in recent weeks. The MXN fell about 5% against the USD in January alone, and has dropped by 20% over the last year.

17 July. 2015 Colombia's Business Sector Continues to Feel the Oil Pain (Publication Centre)

Colombia is one of the fastest growing economies in LatAm but over the last few quarters the country has been adjusting to the collapse in oil prices, the depreciating currency and rising inflation. But the slowdown, especially on the domestic side of the economy, has been less dramatic than expected, so far. Our main scenario is that the adjustment process to challenging external conditions will continue over the coming quarters.

15 June. 2015 Colombia's First Quarter GDP Growth Slowed By Low Oil Prices (Publication Centre)

Colombia is one of the fastest growing economy in LatAm but over the last few quarters the collapse in oil prices, the depreciating currency--fearing higher U.S. interest rates--and rising inflation, have depressed confidence and dragged down economic activity.

17 Dec. 2014 Colombia's Robust Domestic Demand is Limiting the Oil Price Hit (Publication Centre)

Colombia is more vulnerable to falling oil prices than most other LatAm economies. That's why the COP has dropped by 20% since June, outpaced only by the rouble, which has problems beyond falling oil prices.

Latin America Economic Research

Latin America Economic Monitor, Datanotes and Presentations

REUTERS - Colombia set to up rates to fight inflation, bolster credibility (Media Centre)

Senior LatAm Economist Andres Abadia on Colombia

FINANCIAL TIMES - Eastern Europe vulnerable to Brexit fallout (Media Centre)

Senior International Economist Andres Abadia on Latam currency risks.

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