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19 Jan. 2015 Peru's Central Bank Committed to Boost Economic Growth (Publication Centre)

In a surprise move, Peru's central bank, BCRP, succumbed to the current weakness of the economy and cut interest rates by 25bp to 3.25% last Thursday, for the first time since August last year. The board also lowered the interest rates on lending and deposit operations between the central bank and financial institutions.

18 July 2018 Peru's Economy Rebounded in the First Half Will the Strength Continue (Publication Centre)

Data released over the weekend confirm that the Peruvian economy enjoyed a strong second quarter. The economic activity index rose 6.4% year-over-year in May, well above market expectations, and up from 3.2% in Q1.

7 Apr. 2016 Peruvian Presidential Race Faces Rising Last-Minute Uncertainty (Publication Centre)

Ms Keiko Fujimori, the candidate of Peru's conservative Fuerza Popular party, seems on course to win the first round of the presidential election this Sunday, April 10. According to the latest Ipsos poll, the daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori continues to lead the race, with the support or about 34% of voters.

17 January 2017 Peru's Growth is Solid, Will Copper Prices Offer More Support in 2017? (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's economic activity data from Peru signalled that the relatively firm business cycle continues. The monthly GDP index accelerated to 3.6% year-over-year in November, rising from 2.1% in October, but marginally below the 4.4% on average in Q3. Growth continued to be driven by mining output, including oil and gas, which rose 15% year-over- year. The opening of several new mines explains the upturn, and we expect the sector to remain key for the Peruvian economy this year.

17 January 2018 Peru's Economy Hit by Temporary Factors in Q4, Will 2018 be Better? (Publication Centre)

Monday's economic activity data from Peru signalled that the gradual recovery continues, despite November's undershoot, which was chiefly driven by temporary factors.

18 July. 2016 Chile and Peru Hold Interest Rates, Hikes Will Come but not Until 2017 (Publication Centre)

Central banks in Chile and Peru kept their reference rates unchanged last week, as expected, as inflation pressures in both countries are starting to ease. But different economic outlooks are emerging. Chile's economy continues to disappoint, while Peru's is picking up. Indeed, Peru is the only country in the region with clear positive momentum.

14 Mar. 2016 Peru Hold Rates, But Tightening Cycle Hasn't Ended Just Yet (Publication Centre)

Peru's central bank, the BCRP, kept borrowing costs at 3.25% last week, surprising the consensus forecast for a 25bp increase. This was an unexpected move because inflation risks have not abated much since the previous meeting, when policymakers lifted rates for the third straight month.

11 October 2017 Peru's Central Bank Likely Will Ease Tomorrow, but Room has Shrank (Publication Centre)

Peru's central bank likely will cut its main interest rate by 25bp to 3.25% on Thursday. Inflation dipped in September and likely will increase only marginally in October, while economic growth was relatively sluggish at the start of Q3.

14 August 2017 Peru's Central Bank Holds Rates but Points to Further Stimulus (Publication Centre)

Peru's central bank left its policy interest rate unchanged at 3.75% last week, but signalled that further easing is on the way. According to the press release accompanying the decision, policymakers noted that inflation expectations are within their target range and still falling.

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.

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%.

18 Feb. 2015 Economic Activity Likely to Improve in Peru this Year, Gradually (Publication Centre)

Peru's central bank, BCRP, left rates unchanged last week, at 3.25%, a four-year low. Above-target inflation and currency volatility prevented the Board from cutting rates.

19 July 2017 Peru's Economy is Recovering But Temporary Political Noise is a Drag (Publication Centre)

Following a challenging start to this year, Andean economic prospects are improving gradually, thanks to falling interest rates, lower inflation, relatively stable currencies and--in some cases--increased infrastructure spending.

7 November 2017 Central Bank in Argentina and Peru to Leave Rates on Hold this Week (Publication Centre)

Argentina's central bank likely will leave its main interest rate at 27.75% tomorrow at its biweekly monetary policy meeting.

18 May. 2015 Central Banks in Peru and Chile Will Remain on Hold This Year (Publication Centre)

Chile's Central Bank left its main interest rate unchanged last week at 3.0%, for the seventh month in a row. The press release maintained its neutral tone, as in previous recent meetings, as the BCCh acknowledged that the economy is growing at a moderate pace, with some indicators suggesting less dynamic growth "at the margin".

4 December 2018 The China-U.S Trade Truce Eases Downside Risks for Chile and Peru (Publication Centre)

LatAm assets and currencies enjoyed a good start to the week, following the agreement between the U.S. and China to pause the trade war.

17 August. 2015 Andean Central Banks Comfortably on Hold - But FX Still a Worry (Publication Centre)

The Andean economies were in the middle of a perfect storm in the first half of the year, suffering slow recoveries, accelerating inflation and plunging commodity prices and currencies. Under these circumstances it was no surprise that Chile and Peru last week left their main interest rates on hold, close to their lowest levels in four years. The pressure coming from their plummeting currencies, however, means their next moves likely will be rate hikes, but not 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 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.

6 June 2017 Andes Economies to Recover in H2, Thanks to Loose Monetary Policy (Publication Centre)

Recent data have confirmed that growth in the Andean economies--Colombia, Chile and Peru--faced downward pressure in Q1, but some leading indicators and recent hard data suggest that we should expect better news ahead.

14 Sept. 2015 Mexico's industrial output slowed in August: The recovery Is feeble (Publication Centre)

Peru's central bank, the BCRP, capitulated to the sharp PEN depreciation this year--and acceleration of inflation--and unexpectedly increased interest rates by 25bp to 3.50% last Thursday, for the first time since January. This was a brave step, showing that policymakers are extremely worried about the pace of inflation, despite activity still running below potential. The BCRP argues, though, that activity will accelerate during the coming quarters, so they need now to control inflation by anchoring expectations.

5 December 2017 Andean Economies Are Surprising Positively, but Politics is a Risk (Publication Centre)

Peru's inflation continues to surprise to the downside, paving the way for an additional rate cut next week.

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.

18 Jan. 2016 BCRP Hikes Rates - BCCh on Hold, Both Maintain Hawkish Bias (Publication Centre)

The Andean economies have been punished with high inflation triggered by currency depreciation and El Niño. Under these circumstances, Peru's central bank, the BCRP, admitted defeat yet again in the face of these temporary inflationary effects, increasing interest rates by 25bp to 4.0% last Thursday, the third hike in five months. Inflation in Peru remains stubbornly high, climbing to 4.4% year-over-year in December from 4.2% in November, and the upside risks remain elevated.

23 May 2018 The Mexican Economy is Getting Better, Despite Rising Political Risks (Publication Centre)

Yesterday's March retail sales report for Mexico is in line with other recently released hard and survey data, painting an upbeat picture of the economy.

23 March 2018 Brazil and Colombia to Ease Further, but Chile's Rate Cuts are Over (Publication Centre)

The COPOM meeting was the centre of attention in Brazil this week. The committee cut the main rate by 25 basis points to a new historical low of 6.50%, in line with market expectations.

21 February 2018 Argentina's Inflation Remains Too High,but it Will Start to Fall in Q2 (Publication Centre)

Argentina's latest hard data suggest that activity is softening, but we don't see the start of a renewed downtrend.

20 March 2017 The BCCh Leaves Open a Tiny Space for Further Easing (Publication Centre)

Chile's central bank cut the policy rate 25bp last week to 3.0%, in line with consensus, amid easing inflationary pressures. The timing of the rate cut was no surprise; in January, the BCCh cut rates for the first time in more than two years, and kept a dovish bias.

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.

22 May. 2015 Brazil, Overshadowed by Mexico During The First Quarter--Again (Publication Centre)

Mexico's economy stuttered at the start of the year. Real GDP rose 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter, after a solid 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Q1 activity was supported by the services sector, rising 0.5%, offsetting the 0.2% contraction in industrial activity.

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.

28 March 2017 Andes' Countries Hit by Temporary Shocks, Monetary Policy to Help (Publication Centre)

Recent data have confirmed that Colombian economic activity is still fragile, and that downside risks increased in Q1 as oil prices hav e slipped. The ISE economic activity index rose just 1.0% year-over-year in January, down from a 1.6% average gain in Q4.

20 June 2017 Brazil's Recovery Continues, but Politics have Harmed its Prospects (Publication Centre)

Economic data released in recent weeks underscore that Brazil emerged from recession in Q1, but the recovery is fragile and further rate cuts are badly needed. The political crisis has damaged the reform agenda, and political uncertainty lingers.

28 Jan. 2015 Economic Momentum Means no Easing in Mexico this Year (Publication Centre)

Mexico's central bank, Banxico, will hold its first monetary policy meeting of this year tomorrow. It will break with tradition, holding the meeting on Thursday at 1:00 p.m, local time, instead of the previous 9:00 a.m slot.

27 November 2018 Do Q3's Healthy Sales Data Signal Further Strength in Mexico (Publication Centre)

Improving fundamentals have supported private spending in Mexico during the current cycle.

24 August. 2016 Mexican Consumers' Spending Still Robust, but Set to Slow in H2 (Publication Centre)

Mexican consumers' spending improved toward the end of Q2. Retail sales jumped by 1.0% month-to-month in June, pushing the year-over-year rate up to 9.4%, from an already solid 8.6% in May. Still, private spending lost some momentum in the second quarter as a whole, rising by 2.5% quarter-on-quarter, after a 3.8% jump in Q1. A modest slowdown in consumers' spending had to come eventually, following surging growth rates in the initial phases of the recovery.

2 Oct. 2015 Economic Activity Remains Weak in Chile - But the BCCh Will Act (Publication Centre)

Chile's economic indicators for July were unreservedly weak, confirming that the economic recovery remains sluggish. The industrial production index--comprising mining, manufacturing, and utility output--fell by 5.2% year-over-year in August, after a 1.7% contraction in July. Mining production suffered a sharp 9.3% year-over-year contraction, due mainly to an 8.3% fall in copper production, as strikes and maintenance works badly hit the industry.

19 June 2018 The Continuity of Colombia's Free- Market Model is Assured (Publication Centre)

Iván Duque, the conservative candidate for the Democratic Centre Party, won the presidential election held in Colombia on Sunday.

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.

19 December 2017 Andean Economies Closely Related by Copper, but Divided by Politics (Publication Centre)

Sebastián Piñera returns to the Presidential Palacio de la Moneda, succeeding Michelle Bachelet as president of Chile, as in 2010.

19 December 2016 Banxico Defies Expectations with a Bold Pre-emptive Rate Increase (Publication Centre)

Banxico delivered its fifth 50bp rise of 2016 last Thursday, taking Mexico's main interest rate to 5.75%, its highest level since early 2009. Markets expected a 25bp increase, not least because the MXN has been relatively stable since Banxico's previous meeting in November.

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.

2 Apr. 2015 Soft signals from Brazil's leading indicators - Further woes ahead (Publication Centre)

It is very difficult to be positive about the Brazilian economy in the short term, with every indicator of confidence at historic lows. The industrial business confidence index fell 9.2% month-to-month in March alone. Capacity use dropped to 79.7% from 81.5% in February, the lowest level in six years, and inventories rose, presumably because businesses over-estimated the strength of sales.

2 January 2018 Higher Inflation Targets Open the Door for Rate Cuts in Argentina (Publication Centre)

A sharp ARS sell-off was the key highlight while we were away over the holidays.

20 February 2017 Brazil's Momentum Slowed in Q4, but it Will Rebound, Soon (Publication Centre)

Brazil's December economic activity index, released last week, showed that the economy ended the year on a relatively soft footing. The IBC-Br index, a monthly proxy for GDP, fell 0.3% month-to-month, though the year-over-year rate rose to -1.8%, from -2.2% in November.

20 December 2017 Brazil's Fiscal Outlook is Blurred, But Argentina's Has Just Improved (Publication Centre)

Politics will be the key factor in LatAm over the coming quarters, as presidential and legislative elections take place throughout the region.

2 Sept. 2015 Chile's Economic Recovery Stutters, Risks To Growth Increase (Publication Centre)

Chile's activity numbers at the beginning of Q3 were mediocre, suggesting that the economy remains sluggish. The industrial production index--comprising mining, manufacturing, and utility output--fell by 1.7% year-over-year in July, reversing a 1.6% expansion in June. A disappointing 4.5% year-over-year contraction in mining activity depressed the July headline index, following a 1.4% increase in June. The moderation in output growth was due to maintenance-related shutdowns at key processing plants, and disruptions from labor strikes, especially a three-week strike by contract workers at Codelco--the state-owned mining firm--which badly hit production.

18 September 2018 Andean Economies Started Q3 Strongly, Can this Trend Continue (Publication Centre)

Colombia's economy remained resilient in July, thanks to strong domestic demand and relatively good external conditions for the country's top exports.

20 July. 2015 Brazil's Economic Woes Set to Continue Over the Third Quarter (Publication Centre)

Brazil's April economic activity index--a monthly proxy for GDP--surprised to the downside, again. The IBC-BR index was unchanged month-to-month but contracted a dreadful 4.8% year-over-year, down from a revised 3.2% contraction in March. These results imply Q2 GDP of about -1.9% quarter-on-quarter, much worse than the 0.2% contraction in Q1. The release offers no details, but the report signals a continued steep, steady deterioration.

5 July. 2016 Argentina's Economy is Still Shrinking, But Growth will Come (Publication Centre)

Argentina's overdue policy tightening, aimed at dealing with the country's severe inflation and fiscal problems, is underway. Printing of ARS at the central bank, the BCRA, to finance the budget, deficit has slowed and will be curbed further. Welfare spending, which accounts for nearly half of government spending, has been put on the chopping block.

6 March 2018 Andean Economies are Improving, but Protectionist Threats Are a Risk (Publication Centre)

Chile's IMACEC economic activity index rose 3.9% year-over-year in January, up from 2.6% in December, and 2.9% on average in Q4, thanks to strong mining output growth and solid commercial, manufacturing and services activity.

6 May. 2016 Chile's Economy Picks Up in Q1, but no Sustained Acceleration (Publication Centre)

Economic growth in Chile picked up in Q1, but the recovery remains disappointingly weak, due to both global and domestic headwinds. The latest Imacec index, a proxy for GDP, rose just 2.1% year-over-year in March, slowing from a 2.8% gain in February. Assuming no revisions next month, economic activity rose 1.2% quarter-on-quarter in Q1, better than the 0.9% increase in Q4. These data points to a modest pick-up in GDP growth in Q1, to 1.8% year-over-year, from 1.3% in Q4.

6 July. 2015 Colombia's Economic Activity Resilient, but is it Sustainable? (Publication Centre)

Colombia started the second quarter strongly, with the ISE economic activity indicator--a monthly proxy for GDP--expanding a solid and surprising 3.6% year-over-year in April, up from 2.9% in March. The rate of growth is well above the 2.8% gain in Q1, con firming the country's resiliency in the face of lower oil prices. Still, growth has slowed sharply since the 4.4% increase in activity in 2014, as our first chart shows.

5 September 2017 BanRep's Hawks want Proof the Coming In ation Jump is Noise (Publication Centre)

Colombia's Central Bank is about to face a short-term dilemma. The recent fall in inflation will be interrupted while economic growth, particularly private spending, will struggle to build momentum over the second half.

5 November 2018 The Labour Market in the Andes is Struggling, Can it Improve in Q4 (Publication Centre)

Chile's unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.1% in July-to-September, from 7.3% in June-to-August, but it was up from 6.7% in September last year.

6 September. 2016 Chile's Economy Still Under Strain, but Recession Will be Avoided (Publication Centre)

Chile's economy remains under pressure, at least temporarily. After signs of recovery in Q1, activity deteriorated in Q2 and at the start of the third quarter. The sluggish global economy--especially China, Chile's main trading partner--is exacerbating the domestic slowdown, hit by low business and consumer confidence.

7 February 2018 Risk Asset Sell-off Likely Won't Derail LatAm's Benign Outlook (Publication Centre)

The sell-off in equity markets and increases in volatility have put EM assets under pressure. EM equities and bonds, however, have been outperforming their U.S. and global market counterparts.

9 August. 2016 Further Evidence of Divergence in the Andean Economies (Publication Centre)

Colombia's economy has continued to slow, due mainly to lagged effect of the oil price shock since mid-2014, and stubbornly high inflation, which has triggered painful monetary tightening. Modest fiscal expansion and capital inflows have helped to avoid a hard landing, but the economy is still feeling the pain of weakening domestic demand. And the twin deficits--though improving--remain a threat.

8 June. 2016 Colombia's Inflation Picture Still Ugly, but it Will Improve (Publication Centre)

Brazil's interim government has been trying to put the kibosh on the vicious circle of recession, capital outflows, and political pandering that has dogged the country for so long. In his first few weeks at the helm, despite the political turmoil, Mr. Temer has started to tackle Brazil's fiscal mess, the country's biggest headache.

8 February 2017 Banxico to Hike Rates Tomorrow, but its Tone Likely Will be Softened (Publication Centre)

Banxico's likely will deliver the widely-anticipated rate hike this Thursday. Policymakers' recent actions suggests that investors should expect a 50bp increase, in line with TIIE pric ing and the market consensus. The balance of risks to inflation has deteriorated markedly on the back of the "gasolinazo", a sharp increase in regulated gasoline prices imposed to raise money and attract foreign investment.

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.

18 September 2017 Andean Easing Cycle Likely is Over, Growth is Picking up, at Last (Publication Centre)

Policymakers in Chile left rates unchanged at their monetary policy meeting last week, maintaining their neutral bias.

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%.

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.

3 March 2017 Banxico is Facing a Tough Dilemma, but the Copom is Sitting Pretty (Publication Centre)

Banxico's Quarterly Inflation Report--QIR--for Q4 2016, published this week, confirmed that the monetary authority is concerned about the slowing pace of economic activity and rising inflation pressures. Banxico noted that signs of a recovery have emerged in external demand, but it also pointed out that the Trump administration might impose policies which would hit FDI flows into Mexico.

3 June. 2016 Brazil's Recession Eased in Q1, But a Payback is Looming for Q2 (Publication Centre)

Brazil's recession eased considerably in the first quarter, due mainly to a slowing decline in gross fixed capital formation, a strong contribution from net exports, and a sharp, albeit temporary, rebound in government spending. Real GDP fell 0.3% quarter-on-quarter, much less bad than the revised 1.3% contraction in Q4.

3 January 2018 Synchronized Recovery in the Andes. Inflation Continues to Fall (Publication Centre)

Data released in recent weeks have confirmed that the Andean economies retained a degree of momentum in Q4, with inflation well under con trol.

30 October 2018 Policymakers in Chile and Colombia Opting for Divergent Paths, For Now (Publication Centre)

Inflation pressures remain under control in most LatAm economies, allowing central banks to keep interest rates on hold, despite the challenging external environment.

31 August 2018 Andean Economies Remain Strong, but External Threats are Significant (Publication Centre)

Data released yesterday show that the Chilean economy had a weak start to the second half of the year.

5 April 2017 The Brazilian Economy is Improving: Expect a Modest Q1 GDP Recovery (Publication Centre)

Brazilian February industrial production data, released yesterday, were relatively positive. Output rose 0.1% month-to-month, pushing the yearover- year rate down to -0.8% from 1.4% in January. Statistical quirks were behind February's year-over-year fall, though.

4 September 2018 Colombia's Recovery Continues, and the Fundamentals are Sound (Publication Centre)

Activity data from Colombia over the past quarter have been strong. Real GDP expanded by a relatively robust 2.8% year-over-year in Q2, and is on track to post a 3.2% increase in Q3.

4 Nov. 2015 Mexico's Economy Solid in Q3 - Soft Manufacturing No Threat Yet (Publication Centre)

The Mexican economy had a decent start to the second half of the year, thanks to resilient domestic demand, amid signs of recovery in industrial activity. GDP rose 0.6% quarter-on-quarter in Q3, a bit faster than in Q2, lifting the year-over-year rate to 2.4% from 2.2% in Q2. This is the first time the statistics office, INEGI, published an advance reading on GDP, reducing the time between the end of the quarter to the report date to 30 days from 52.

4 May 2018 A Solid Start to the Year for Chile's Economy, Will the Trend Continue? (Publication Centre)

This week's March economic activity reports in Chile have been relatively strong, with the industrial sector expanding briskly and retail sales solid.

3 February 2017 Brazil's Q4 Industrial Output was Poor, Q1 Will be Much Better (Publication Centre)

Brazil's Q4 industrial production report, released Wednesday, confirmed that the recovery remained sluggish at the end of last year. December's print alone was relatively strong, though, and the cyclical correction in inventories--on the back of improving demand--lower interest rates, and the better external outlook, all suggest that the industrial economy will do much better this year.

16 Nov. 2015 Is Banxico Still Willing to Hike Just After the Fed in December? (Publication Centre)

Mexico's domestic conditions don't warrant an imminent rate hike in the near term. Headline inflation continues to fall, reaching an all-time low of 2.5% in October. It should remain below 3% in the coming months. And core prices remain wellbehaved, increasing at a modest pace, signalling very little pass-through of the MXN's depreciation. Economic activity gained some momentum in Q3-- this will be confirmed on Friday's GDP report--but demand pressures on inflation are absent and the output gap is still ample. Under these conditions, policymakers should not be in a rush to hike, but they have signalled once again that they will act immediately after the Fed.

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.

13 Jan. 2016 Mexico's Industrial Sector Still Slowing - Services to the Rescue? (Publication Centre)

November production data in Mexico, released Monday, showed that the industrial economy remained quite soft in the last part of last year. The collapse in capital spending in the oil sector, slowing public spending, and weaker growth in EM and the U.S. manufacturing sector have combined to hit Mexican industrial output quite hard. Total production rose just 0.1% year-over-year in November, down from an already weak 0.5% in October, and below the 1.3% average increase in Q3. Output fell 0.5% month-to-month, the biggest drop since May, reflecting broad-based weakness.

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.

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.

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.

13 July. 2015 Industrial Production in Mexico stalled in May - But no panic, yet (Publication Centre)

Mexico's latest industrial production figures, released on Friday, showed that the recovery is stuttering. May output fell 0.9% year-over-year, down from the 1.2% gain in April. Total production was depressed by a 1.5% month-to-month drop in construction output, after two consecutive increases.

13 June. 2016 Banxico's Dilemma: Help the Recovery or Support the MXN? (Publication Centre)

Markets are still discounting Banxico rate increases in the near term, despite the fact that Mexico's inflation is under control. Unless the MXN goes significantly above 18.7 per USD in the near term, or activity accelerates, we see little scope for rate increases until after the Fed hikes. After May's soft U.S. payrolls, and in light of the economic and financial risk posed by the U.K. referendum, we think a hike this week is unlikely.

13 November 2018 Argentina's Cyclical Stabilization Continues 2019 Likely Will be Better (Publication Centre)

The sharp currency sell-off in Q2 and Q3, the financial crisis and tighter monetary and fiscal policies have pushed the Argentinian economy under stress since Q2.

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.

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.

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.

12 March 2018 Modest Inflation Pressures will Allow the BCB to Deliver a Final Rate Cut (Publication Centre)

Brazilian inflation has been well under control in the past few months, laying the ground for a final rate cut at the monetary policy meeting on March 21.

12 June 2018 Andes' Disinflation is Over, but Risks will Remain Under Control (Publication Centre)

In yesterday's report we discussed the recent performance of current inflation and inflation expectations in the biggest economies in LatAm, highlighting that risks are tilted to the upside, given the recent FX sell-off and rising political and external risks.

11 April 2017 Divergent Inflation Trends in the Andes, Will Policymakers Act Soon? (Publication Centre)

Inflation is falling quickly in Colombia, despite the VAT increase in Q1, so we expect more BanRep rate cuts over the next few months. Consumer prices rose 0.5% month-to-month unadjusted in March, pushing the inflation rate down to 4.7% year-over-year, from 5.2% in February. This is the lowest rate in almost two years, thanks to a favourable base effect and fading pressures from food prices.

1 Dec. 2014 Brazil Resumed Growth In Q3, But The Details Are Still Muddy (Publication Centre)

Brazil's GDP rose by 0.1% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter, according to the report published last Friday. The slight growth was driven by investment and government spending, both growing 1.3%, while private consumption fell 0.3%, the biggest drop since late 2008.

05 October. 2016 Weakness in Brazil Industrial Production will be Temporary (Publication Centre)

The outlook for Brazil's industrial economy is better than at any time since before the crisis. But data released this week highlighted that the recovery will be slow and bumpy.

04 May. 2015 Andean Countries Will Continue To Recover Despite a Tough Quarter (Publication Centre)

The major Andean economies had a very challenging first quarter. In Colombia, the effect of the sharp fall in oil prices has become more evident in the last few months. The ISE economic activity index--a monthly proxy for GDP--fell considerably during 2014, with a significant deceleration over the last half of the year.

11 December 2018 Oil and FX Pass-through to Inflation Are Crosswinds in the Andes (Publication Centre)

The recent FX depreciation and falling oil prices are driving the dynamics of inflation across the Andean economies.

11 Feb. 2015 Chile's Outlook Improving Slowly - Oil Price are a Clear Tailwind (Publication Centre)

The resilience and adaptability that the Chilean economy has shown over previous cycles has been tested repeatedly over the last year. Uncertainty on the political front, falling metal prices, and growing concerns about growth in China have been the key factors behind expectations of slowing GDP growth.

12 June 2017 Brazil's Inflation is in Check, but Politics are Paramount (Publication Centre)

Brazilian political risk remains high but, as we have argued in previous Monitors, it is unlikely to deter policymakers from further near-term monetary easing. The political crisis, however, does suggest that the COPOM will act cautiously, waiting until the latest storm passes before acting more aggressively, despite ongoing good news on the inflation front.

12 July 2017 Andean Policymakers Will Meet Market Expectations Tomorrow (Publication Centre)

Markets are looking for the BCCh to remain on hold and the BCRP to ease on Thursday; we think they will be right. In Chile, the BCCh will hold rates because inflation pressures are absent and economic activity is stabilizing following temporary hits in Q1 and early Q2.

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.

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.

13 September. 2016 Manufacturing is Improving in Mexico, Other Sectors Weaker (Publication Centre)

Economic growth in Mexico will remain relatively modest over the second half of the year, and the outlook for 2017 remains cloudy, for now. The core fundamentals suggest that growth will increase, but we think that depressed mining output and fiscal tightening might limit the pace of the upturn.

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.

17 Feb. 2016 Brazil Consumers' Spending Fell Yet Again in Q4, but it is Stabilizing (Publication Centre)

The rate of growth of Brazil consumers' spending is perhaps beginning to stabilize, though at a very low pace. Core retail sales volumes were flat in Q4 after a 2.7% contraction in Q3, and sentiment data suggest this improving trend should continue, at least in the very near term.

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.

17 August. 2016 Mexico's Labor Market Remains Resilient, Driving Solid Spending (Publication Centre)

The Mexican labor market has remained relatively healthy in recent months, despite many external and domestic headwinds. Formal employment has increased by 2.1% year-to-date and by 3½% in the year to July, according to the Mexican Social Security Institute.

16 October 2018 Mexican Consumption Growth will Improve Over the Next Quarters (Publication Centre)

Economic activity in Mexico during the past few months has been improving gradually, as external and domestic threats appear to have diminished.

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.

17 May 2017 With the MXN Stable, Banxico Likely Won't Hike this Week (Publication Centre)

Mexico's central bank likely will pause its monetary tightening on Thursday, keeping the main rate at 6.5%. A hike this week would follow five consecutive increases, totalling 350bp since December 2015, when policymakers were first overwhelmed by the MXN's sell-off.

17 November 2017 Commodities Tailwind Helping Andean Economies to Recover (Publication Centre)

Colombian activity data released this week were relatively strong, but mostly driven by the primary sectors; consumption remains sluggish compared to previous standards.

18 Nov. 2015 Colombia's Central Bank is Not Finished Tightening Yet (Publication Centre)

Colombia's worrying inflation picture suggests the Central Bank will likely hike rates at least once more before the end of the year, attempting to anchor expectations. The October 30th BanRep minutes, in which the board surprised the market by hiking the main rate by 50bp to 5.25%--consensus was a 25bp increase--made it clear that the decision was based on fear of increased inflation risks, coupled with an improving domestic demand picture. The 50bp hike was not agreed unanimously, with dissenters arguing that the bank should adopt a more gradual approach due the high degree of uncertainty over the global economy. In addition, those favoring a 25bp hike argued that it would be better to move at a predictable pace to avoid possible market turmoil.

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.

18 December 2017 The Easing Cycle is Ending in Most of LatAm, Mexico will be the Outlier (Publication Centre)

Most central banks in LatAm have ended the year in a relatively comfortable position; their economies are improving and inflation is under control or even falling.

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.

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.

16 Mar. 2015 Temporary Reversal - Bad Numbers for Mexico, Good for Brazil (Publication Centre)

Two key points can be extracted from the minutes of the last BCB meeting, when policymakers increased the Selic interest rate by 50bp to 12.75%. First, the bank recognized that the balance of risks to inflation has deteriorated, due to the huge adjustment of regulated prices and the BRL's depreciation, but it specifically referred only to "this year" in the communiqué.

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.

15 July. 2016 The Mexican Economy is at the Mercy of Softening Spending (Publication Centre)

Industrial data released this week showed that the Mexican economy stumbled during the second quarter. Private consumption, however, continues to rise, albeit at a more modest pace than in recent months. The ANTAD same store sales survey rose 5.3% year-over-year in June, up from 2.8% in May, but this is misleading.

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.

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.

15 May 2017 Mexican Manufacturing set to Remain Resilient in Q2 and Q3 (Publication Centre)

Recent industrial data for Mexico point to renewed upside risks for GDP growth, despite the likely headwind to consumption from high inflation and depressed confidence.

15 October 2018 Mexico's Industrial Output will Improve Fundamentals are Strong (Publication Centre)

The industrial production trajectory in Mexico looked strong going into Q3, but Friday's report for August threatens to change that picture.

16 January 2017 Inflation Pressure Remains High in Argentina, but Will Fade This Year (Publication Centre)

Inflation pressure remained relatively high in Argentina last year, due mostly to the legacy of the Kirchner era. But we think inflation will ease this year, given the lagged effects of the recession and the fiscal consolidation.

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.

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.

16 April 2018 Banxico and BCRP to Keep Rates Cautiously on Hold this Year (Publication Centre)

Last week, the Bank of Mexico unanimously voted to leave the main rate on hold, at 7.50%, its highest level since early 2009.

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.

Andres Abadia

Andres Abadia, who authors our Latin American service, was previously Head of Research at Bankia in Madrid. Andres is a native of Colombia and has wide and deep experience covering all the Latin American economies. He has degrees in Economics from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain and the Universidad Externado de Colombia.

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