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20 Nov. 2015 Will the OBR's New Forecasts Make the Chancellor Cut Deeper? (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor must feel a sense of foreboding before his pre-Autumn Statement meetings with the Office for Budget Responsibility. Even minor revisions to the independent body's economic forecasts could shred into tatters his plans for a budget surplus by the end of the parliament, given the lack of wiggle room in the July Budget borrowing projections. The OBR won't present the Chancellor with disastrous news ahead of next Wednesday's Autumn Statement, but the already slim margin for error he has in meeting his surplus goal likely will be reduced.

14 March 2018 The Chancellor Remains Boxed-in by Deficit Pledges and a Downbeat OBR (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor kept his word and made only trivial policy changes in the Spring Statement, but he hinted at higher spending plans in the Autumn Budget.

23 October 2017 The Fiscal Squeeze won't be Eased, Despite this Year's Low Borrowing (Publication Centre)

At the halfway mark of the fiscal year, public borrowing has been significantly lower than the OBR forecast in the March Budget.

8 March 2017 Rising Interest Payments may Slash the Chancellor's Rainy Day Fund (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor's Budget today looks set to prioritise retaining scope to loosen policy if the economy struggles in future, rather than reducing the near-term fiscal tightening. In November, the OBR predicted that cyclically-adjusted borrowing would fall to 0.8% of GDP in 2019/20, comfortably below the 2% limit stipulated by the Chancellor's new fiscal rules.

23 Nov. 2015 If the Chancellor Wants A Budget Surplus, Taxes Will Have to Rise (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor claims he can eliminate public borrowing without raising taxes. But the latest borrowing overshoot and the continual optimistic bias of the OBR's forecasts cast doubt on whether his approach will be sufficient to meet his self-imposed surplus target.

23 November 2017 The Chancellor Softens the Fiscal Squeeze and Hopes for the Best (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor was bolder than widely expected yesterday and scaled back the fiscal consolidation planned for the next two years significantly, even though his borrowing forecast was boosted by the OBR's gloomier prognosis for the economy.

25 May. The Chancellor is Still Headed for a Mid-Parliament Fiscal Crunch (Publication Centre)

April's public finances show that borrowing still is falling more slowly than the Chancellor had envisaged. This casts further doubt over whether he will be able to keep his pledge to run a budget surplus before the end of this parliament in 2020.

25 April 2018 Low Public Borrowing is Not a Sign the Economy is Reviving (Publication Centre)

Public borrowing has continued to fall more rapidly than anticipated in the latest official plans.

25 April 2017 Are Further Tax Rises After the Election Inevitable? (Publication Centre)

The Prime Minister's refusal last week to reaffirm her party's 2015 election pledge not to raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT has fuelled speculation that taxes will rise if the Conservatives are re-elected on June 8. Admittedly, Mrs. May asserted that her party "believes in lower taxes", and the tax pledge s till might appear in the Conservatives' manifesto, which won't be published for a few weeks.

25 November. 2016 Don't Bank on Hammond Being Able to Use His Fiscal Headroom (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor hinted in the Autumn Statement that the fiscal consolidation might not be as severe as it appears on paper because he has built in some "fiscal headroom". By that, Mr. Hammond means that he could borrow more and still adhere to his new, self-imposed rules.

26 February 2018 Is the Economy's Speed Limit Higher than the MPC Thinks? (Publication Centre)

November's interest rate rise, which took investors by surprise, was triggered in part by the MPC slashing its estimate of trend growth to 1.5%, from an implicit 2.0%.

27 February 2018 Brazil's Low Inflation in Mid-February Ushers in Bets for a Final Rate Cut (Publication Centre)

Brazil's inflation rate remained well under control over the first half of February. We see no threats in the near term, indicating that more stimulus will be forthcoming from the BCB.

26 Nov. 2015 The Chancellor Leaves the Fiscal Shackles Firmly in Place (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor used the Autumn Statement to shift the composition of the fiscal consolidation slightly away from spending cuts and towards tax hikes. But in overall macroeconomic terms, he changed little. The fiscal stance is still set to be extremely tight in 2016 and 2017, ensuring that the economic recovery will lose more momentum.

24 October. 2016 Tax Receipt Shortfall Casts Doubt on Economy's Resilience (Publication Centre)

Progress in reducing the budget deficit has ground to a virtual halt, despite the ongoing fiscal consolidation. Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks--PSNB ex.--was £10.6B in September, exceeding the £9.3B borrowed in the same month last year.

26 April 2017 Weaker Growth in Tax Receipts Adds to Slowdown Signs (Publication Centre)

March's public sector borrowing figures brought more signs that the economy has lost considerable momentum this year. Borrowing, on the PSNB excluding public sector banks measure, came in at £5.1B in March, up slightly from £4.3B in March 2016.

23 May 2018 The Fiscal Squeeze can be Paused Soon, Unshackling the Economy (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's public finance figures brought more good news for the Chancellor.

23 January 2017 Threats to Make Britain a Corporate Tax Haven Lack Credibility (Publication Centre)

Both the Prime Minister and Chancellor last week threatened to cut business taxes aggressively to persuade multinationals to remain in Britain in the event of hard Brexit. But these threats lack credibility, given the likely lingering weakness of the public finances by the time of the U.K.'s departure from the EU and the scale of demographic pressures set to weigh on public spending over the next decade.

23 February 2017 Fiscal Easing Could Boost Growth Substantially, but not for Long (Publication Centre)

The White House budget proposals, which Roll Call says will be released in limited form on March 14, will include forecasts of sustained real GDP growth in a 3-to-3.5% range, according to an array of recent press reports.

23 August 2017 Fiscal Restraint, not a Surging Economy, Drove July's Surplus (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's public finance figures showed that the public sector, excluding public sector banks, ran a surplus of £0.2B in July, a modest improvement on borrowing of £0.4B a year ago.

23 July 2018 A Welcome Pause to the Fiscal Squeeze is In Sight (Publication Centre)

The public finances continue to heal rapidly, suggesting that the Chancellor should have scope to soften his fiscal plans substantially in the Autumn Budget.

27 Mar. 2015 Banxico Still Eyeing a Rate Hike After the Fed Moves in June (Publication Centre)

This week's economic data for the Mexican economy have been encouraging, especially for Banxico, which left its main interest rate unchanged yesterday at 3.0%. Inflation remained on target for the second consecutive month in the first half of February, and the closely-watched IGAE economic activity index--a monthly proxy for GDP--continued to grow at a relatively solid pace, despite the big hit from lower oil prices.

24 May 2017 Weak Tax Receipts Cast Doubt on Business Surveys' Optimism (Publication Centre)

April's public finances indicate that the economy has remained weak in Q2, casting doubt on the suggestion from recent business surveys that the slowdown in Q1 was just a blip.

24 January 2018 Low Public Borrowing Reflects One-Offs, not a Reviving Economy (Publication Centre)

The main measure of public borrowing--PSNB excluding public sector banks--came in at £2.6B in December, well below the £5.1B in December 2016 and lower than in any other December since 2000.

24 November. 2016 The Fiscal Fetters Remain in Place, Despite the Looming Slowdown (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement dashed hopes that the fiscal consolidation will be paused while the economy struggles to adjust to the implications of Brexit. Admittedly, Mr. Hammond has another opportunity in the Spring Budget to reduce next year's fiscal tightening.

29 September 2017 External Accounts no Longer Improving in Brazil and Mexico (Publication Centre)

Brazil's current account deficit is stabilizing following an substantial narrowing since early 2015, thanks to the deep recession.

7 March 2017 The Chancellor Isn't Bluffing, This Will Be a Thrifty Budget (Publication Centre)

If the Chancellor is true to his word, Wednesday's Budget will be a pedestrian affair with few major policy changes designed to prevent the economy from slowing this year. In an article in The Sunday Times, Philip Hammond asserted that "we cannot take our foot off the pedal" in the mission to eliminate the budget deficit by the end of the next parliament.

7 Apr. The Fiscal Squeeze on Household Incomes Just Got Tougher (Publication Centre)

The new fiscal year began on April 6, marking the post-election intensification of the fiscal squeeze for many households. The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates net tax and benefit changes will subtract 1.2 percentage points from year-over-year growth in households' disposable incomes in 2016.

6 September 2017 Will the Brazilian Industrial Sector Continue to Perform Strongly? (Publication Centre)

Brazil's industrial sector came roaring back at the start of Q3, following a poor end to Q2. Industrial production jumped 0.8% month-to-month in July, driving the year-over-year rate higher to 2.5%, from 0.5% in June and just 0.1% on average in Q2.

8 March 2018 The Spring Statement Really Will Be a Non-Event (Publication Centre)

The Treasury has tried to dampen expectations for Tuesday's Spring Statement, which has replaced the Autumn Statement since the Budget was moved last year to November.

9 March 2017 The Chancellor Sticks to Plans for an Intense Fiscal Tightening (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor lived up to his reputation for fiscal conservatism yesterday and is pressing ahead with a tough fiscal tightening. He hopes that this will create scope to loosen policy if the economy struggles after the U.K. leaves the EU in 2019, but we remain concerned his "fiscal headroom" will be much smaller than he currently anticipates.

9 October 2017 Britain's Productivity Problem can no Longer Hide Below the Surface (Publication Centre)

Britain's productivity problem has been building under the surface for years, but it is set to be more pertinent now that the economy is close to full employment.

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.

6 March 2017 Can Gilt Yields Remain Low While the World Reflates? (Publication Centre)

If 2017 really is the year of "reflation", somebody forgot to tell the gilt market. Among the G7 group, 10-year yields have fallen only in the U.K. during the last three months, as our first chart shows.

5 May 2017 Brazil's Industrial Output Dropped in March, but the Trend is Rising (Publication Centre)

Wednesday's Brazilian industrial production data were worse than we expected but the details were less alarming than the headline. Output slipped 1.8% month-to-month in March, the biggest fall since August 2015, setting a low starting point for Q2.

22 September 2016 Poor Borrowing Trend Reduces Scope for Stimulus in November (Publication Centre)

Public borrowing continues to falling at a very slow pace, despite the major fiscal consolidation implemented this year. Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks--PSNB ex.--was £10.5B in August, only 8.1% less than the £11.5B borrowed a year ago.

29 Oct. 2015 Will the Chancellor Ease Next Year's Fiscal Squeeze? (Publication Centre)

The defeat in the House of Lords of the Government's plans to cut spending on tax credits by £4.4B next year is not a barrier to their implementation. But it has prompted speculation that the Chancellor will reduce the size of the fiscal consolidation planned for next year. The plans may be tweaked in the Autumn Statement on 25 November, but we think the economy will still endure a major fiscal tightening next year.

27 November 2017 The Outlook for Consumers' Spending is Deteriorating (Publication Centre)

Developments over the last month have heightened our concern about the near-term outlook for households' spending.

3 June. Brexit Would Hit All Sterling Asset Values, Gilts Included (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, the outperformance of gilts compared to government bonds in other developed countries this year suggests that Brexit would be a boon for the gilt market. In the event of an exit, however, we think that the detrimental impact of higher gilt issuance, rising risk premia and weaker overseas demand would overwhelm the beneficial influence of stronger domestic demand for safe-haven assets, pushing gilt yields higher.

30 June. 2016 Will the New Government Sweeten the Fiscal Pill? (Publication Centre)

Fiscal policy is in limbo until a new leader of the Conservative party has been elected on September 9. Shortly after, however, a new Budget--or a Budget disguised as an Autumn Statement--will be held.

31 May 2017 Manifestos Point to Very Different Public Borrowing Paths (Publication Centre)

The recent narrowing of the Conservatives' opinion poll lead suggests that investors, particularly in the gilt market, now must consider other parties' fiscal proposals.

30 October 2017 The MPC Will Hike Rates, but Won't Jawbone Sterling Higher (Publication Centre)

The MPC likely will raise interest rates on Thursday, for the first time since July 2007, in response to the uptick in GDP growth and the upside inflation surprise in Q3.

27 May. 2016 Mr. Temer Starts to Deliver - Fiscal Measures are Positive, Overall (Publication Centre)

Recent political and economic developments in Brazil make us more confidence in our forecast of a gradual recovery. On Wednesday, interim President Michel Temer scored his first victory in Congress, winning approval for his request to raise this year's budget target to a more realistic level. Under the new target, Brazil's government plans to run a budget gap, before interest, of about 2.7% of GDP this year.

22 June 2018 The MPC Glosses Over Weak Data, but Must Confront Reality in August (Publication Centre)

The MPC was more hawkish than we and most investors expected yesterday. The vote to keep Bank Rate at 0.50% was split 6-3, f ollowing Andy Haldane's decision to join the existing hawks, Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders.

16 Mar. Beware the Contradiction at the Heart of the Fiscal Forecasts (Publication Centre)

The new fiscal projections in the Budget today likely will be based on implausible economic projections, which assume that wage growth will accelerate soon, lifting inflation, but that interest rates won't rise for three more years. You can coherently forecast one or the other, but not both.

15 Mar. Will gilts treat higher borrowing forecasts nonchalantly again? (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor has prepared the public and the markets for a ratcheting-up of the already severe austerity plans in the Budget on Wednesday. George Osborne warned on Sunday that he would announce "...additional savings, equivalent to 50p in every £100 the government spends by the end of the decade", raising an extra £4B a year.

14 November. 2016 Britain Will Not Lead the Way With Fiscal Stimulus (Publication Centre)

Expectations are running high that the Autumn Statement on November 23 will mark the beginning of a more active role for fiscal policy in stimulating the economy. The MPC's abandonment of its former easing bias earlier this month has put the stimulus ball firmly in the new Chancellor's court.

17 Mar. Fiscal Squeeze Still Set to Intensify, Despite the Economic Slowdown (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor chose in his Budget to increase the total size of the forthcoming fiscal consolidation, to ensure that the Office for Budget Responsibility continues to forecast that a budget surplus will be obtained in 2019/20.

18 Feb. 2016 Has the Chancellor's Room for Manoeuvre Disappeared? (Publication Centre)

The stubbornly slow rate of decline of public borrowing casts doubt on whether the Chancellor will run a budget surplus before the end of this parliament, as his fiscal rule stipulates. But downward revisions to debt interest forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility are likely to absolve him again from intensifying the impending fiscal squeeze in the Budget on March 16.

18 Mar. Don't Believe Reports that the Fiscal Squeeze Has Been Eased (Publication Centre)

Media reports allege that the Chancellor's Budget pared back the fiscal squeeze planned for the next couple of years. The Director of the Office for Budget Responsibility, Robert Chote, even compared the Chancellor to Saint Augustine, who supposedly said "make me pure, but not yet."

18 July. 2016 Will Fiscal Loosening and Sterling's Drop Stave off Recession? (Publication Centre)

With plenty of evidence emerging that consumer spending and business investment are set to suffer from a collapse in confidence, attention is turning to whether other sectors of the economy are ready to step up and support growth. But the fruits from reduced fiscal contraction and stronger net trade will be small and will take a long time to emerge.

13 October. 2016 The Chancellor Won't Set Fiscal Policy to Boost Growth Next Year (Publication Centre)

Many commentators have assumed that the new Chancellor's pledge to "reset" fiscal policy and to stop targeting a budget surplus in this parliament means that fiscal policy will support growth in economic activity next year.

13 Feb. 2015 A Tough 2015 Ahead for Brazil as Downside Risks to Growth Intensify (Publication Centre)

Over the last few months we have started to see hard evidence of Brazil's deceleration, and, as we have argued in previous Monitors, the slowdown is now set to become more visible. Over the coming weeks, markets will focus on whether Brazil is already in recession, its likely severity, and how the country will get out of this mess.

1 March 2017 The Chancellor will Bank Most of the £20B Borrowing Windfall (Publication Centre)

At next Wednesday's Budget, the Chancellor will have the rare pleasure of announcing lower-than- anticipated near-term borrowing forecasts. But hopes that he will prevent the fiscal tightening from intensifying when the new financial year begins in April look set to be dashed, just as they were at the Autumn Statement in November.

08 Mar. 2016 Is the Economy Better Placed to Withstand the Fiscal Squeeze? (Publication Centre)

The consensus view that the recovery won't lose more momentum this year seems to assume that the U.K. economy is better placed to deal with the intensification of the fiscal squeeze than earlier this decade. We do not share this optimism.

07 Mar. 2016 Will the Chancellor's Rules Compel Him to Announce More Austerity? (Publication Centre)

The Budget on March 16 is set to mark the end of Chancellor George Osborne's lucky streak. Without corrective action, his self-imposed debt rule-- one of the two specified in the 'legally-binding' Charter for Budget Responsibility--looks set to be breached.

10 March 2017 Don't Take the Public Borrowing Forecasts at Face Value (Publication Centre)

Investors in the gilt market would be wise not to take the new official projections for borrowing and debt issuance at face value. The forecast for the Government's gross financing requirement between 2017/18 and 2021/22 was lowered to £625B in the Budget, from £646B in the Autumn Statement.

11 December 2017 Will Fiscal and Brexit News Prompt More Rate Hike Talk from the MPC? (Publication Centre)

The MPC was a little irked by the markets' reaction to its November meeting.

12 January 2018 Gilt Yields Will Climb this Year, Despite the Weak Economy (Publication Centre)

Investors likely will be caught out by the extent to which gilt yields rise this year. Forward rates imply that the 10-year spot rate will rise by a mere 20bp to just 1.45% by the end of 2018. By contrast, we see scope for 10-year yields to climb to 1.60% by the end of this year.

11 Mar. 2016 Don't Hold Your Breath for a Budget Surplus (Publication Centre)

Chancellor George Osborne has invested considerable personal capital in attaining a budget surplus by the end of this parliament, and he has passed a 'law' to ensure he and his successors achieve this goal. But the current fiscal plans, which will be reviewed in the Budget on March 16, make a series of optimistic assumptions on future tax revenues and spending savings.

22 November. 2016 Sweeteners for the 'JAMs' Will Be Spread Thinly on Wednesday (Publication Centre)

In recent public appearances, the Chancellor has made a concerted effort to downplay expectations of fiscal loosening in Wednesday's Autumn statement. On Sunday, he labelled the deficit "eye-wateringly" large and he warned that he was "highly constrained".

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.

21 October. 2016 The BCB is Cautious, But its Inflation Fears Will Ease Soon (Publication Centre)

Brazil's monetary policy committee, the Copom, cut the Selic rate by 25bp to 14.0% in a unanimous decision, without bias, on Wednesday. This marks the start of the first easing cycle since 2012, and it arrives after 15 months with rates held at 14.25%.

21 November. 2016 How Vulnerable are the Public Finances to Rising Gilt Yields? (Publication Centre)

Gilt yields have shot up over the last couple of months, despite ongoing bond purchases authorised by the MPC in August. Ten-year yields closed last week at 1.47%, in line with the average in the first half of 2016.

22 Apr. Progress Towards a Budget Surplus Will Remain Slow (Publication Centre)

The trend in public borrowing has improved significantly over recent months, but it is far too soon to conclude that the Chancellor is on track to meet his goal of running a budget surplus by the end of this decade. The recent economic slowdown has not impacted the public borrowing numbers, yet.

22 December 2017 The Public Finances are on Track This Year, but New Challenges Loom (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor can go on his Christmas vacation content that the public finances have weathered the economy's slowdown relatively well this year.

22 November 2017 "Spreadsheet Phil" Unlikely to Alter Austerity Formula (Publication Centre)

Public sector borrowing still is on course to greatly undershoot the March Budget forecasts this year, despite October's poor figures.

22 January 2018 External Factors for LatAm are Positive, but Vary Across Countries (Publication Centre)

Recent global developments lead us to intensify our focus on trade in LatAm.

2 Mar. 2015 Falling Confidence, High Inflation, Rising Rates: Brazil in a Mess (Publication Centre)

Brazil's economic data last week were appalling. The IPCA-15 price index rose 1.3% month-to-month, the fastest pace in 12 years, pushing the annual rate to 7.4% in mid-February from 6.7% in mid-January,well above the 6.5% upper bound of the BCB's target range.

21 Jan. 2016 Could the Chancellor Still Reduce Borrowing This Year as Planned? (Publication Centre)

By any yardstick, progress in reducing public sector borrowing so far this fiscal year has been poor. While the borrowing trend should improve in the final four months of this year--including December's figures, published Friday--the Chancellor has only a slim chance of meeting the forecasts set out in the Autumn Statement.

20 April 2018 Weak Retail Sales in Q1 Can't be Attributed Solely to Bad Weather (Publication Centre)

The 1.2% month-to-month fall in retail sales volumes in March undoubtedly was due mostly to the bad weather.

2 September. 2016 Temer Says the Worst is Over for Brazil - but Big Challenges Remain (Publication Centre)

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office on Wednesday, following an impeachment trial triggered by allegations that Ms. Rousseff used "creative" accounting techniques to disguise Brazil's growing budget deficit, ahead of her re-election in 2014. The Senate voted 61-20 to convict Ms. Rousseff; only 54 votes were needed to oust her. For Ms. Rousseff's leftist Workers' Party, her removal marks the end of 13 years in power.

21 February 2017 Fiscal Policy Won't Be Eased, Even If January's Surplus is Huge (Publication Centre)

January's public finance data, released today, take on particular importance because they are the last to be published before the Chancellor delivers his first Budget on March 8. The public finances nearly always swing into surplus in January, primarily because the deadline for individuals to submit self-assessment--SA--tax returns for the previous fiscal year is at the end of the month. Firms also pay their third of four payments of corporation tax for their profits in the current fiscal year.

20 December 2017 Don't Lose Sleep Over the Possibility of a Corbyn Government (Publication Centre)

The possibility of a Corbyn-led Labour Government has been highlighted by some analysts as a major economic risk. Mr. Corbyn, however, has little practical chance of being elected soon.

20 September 2017 The MXN Remains Strong, but Further Upside Potential is Modest (Publication Centre)

Banxico's tightening cycle has totalled 400 basis points, lifting rates to 7.0%. Since late 2015, Banxico has followed the Fed closely, but other external factors also have guided many of its decisions.

20 November 2017 The Chancellor Will Stick to Plans for an Intensifying Fiscal Squeeze (Publication Centre)

Chancellor Hammond likely will broadly stick to the current plans for the fiscal consolidation to intensify next year when he delivers his second Budget on Thursday.

5 Jan. 2015 An Era of Outstanding Economic Growth in Brazil Appears To Be Over (Publication Centre)

Dilma Rousseff was sworn in for a second term as Brazil's president last Thursday, vowing to extend social welfare programmes and promising to investigate the Petrobras corruption scandal.

3 July 2018 AMLO Wins a Landslide Victory Markets Will Keep a Close Eye on Him (Publication Centre)

Early results project that Andrés Manuel López Obrador--AMLO--will become the new Mexican president with 53.4% of the votes, against Ricardo Anaya's 22.6%, and José Antonio Meade's 15.7%. AMLO has declared victory and thanked his opponents, who recognized his triumph.

20 July 2018 Improving Political, External Conditions in Mexico How Long Will it Last (Publication Centre)

Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, has set out the first points of his austerity plan, two weeks after his overwhelming victory at the polls.

25 Nov. 2015 Privatisations Conceal Underlying Health of Public Finances (Publication Centre)

The Chancellor is likely to announce plans for additional public sector asset sales in today's Autumn Statement, to help arrest the unanticipated rise in the debt-to-GDP ratio this year. But privatisations rarely improve the underlying health of the public finances, partly because assets seldom are sold for their full value. And the Chancellor is running out of viable assets to privatise; the low-hanging, juiciest fruits have already been plucked.

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